2012-11-24 10:58:01 UTC
It was this, and it sounds very good to a mother whose 39 year-old
daughter is having diufficulty getting on the housing ladder, even
with a job and help from me(which will clean me out) .
She and grandson were renting and the rent where he goes to school is
too high and the landlady wants to sell, and has been trying for 2
years. It is a 2-bed ex-council flat and too expensive for daughter,
who is looking at a one-bed, which is not good as she has a son.
I'm writing this as we come to the end of an incredibly hectic week in
The negotiations over the budget in Europe, securing of a much needed
ceasefire in Gaza, rising speculation about the upcoming Leveson
report. And Ed Davey's important announcement of a landmark coalition
deal on low carbon energy that will deliver billions of pounds of
investment in clean technology and create thousands of jobs.
But in this letter I want to focus on an issue that wasn't so high on
the radar screen, but matters enormously to me: housing. I gave a
speech to the National House Building Council (the people who issue
guarantees for new homes) on Thursday which brought the numbers into
focus for me and made me determined to step up our efforts.
As a country, we have built too few homes for far too long - and the
economic and social consequences are massive. Prices out of reach of
too many young families. Our economy vulnerable to boom and bust in
the housing market. The housing benefit bill spiralling. Homelessness
All these problems are solvable but only if we think big.
We've been talking about housing in the coalition for well over two
years. At every budget and autumn statement we've brought forward new
measures. We've reduced red tape and regulation for house builders.
We've supported mortgage lending with products to help first time
buyers. We're backing housing associations with £10bn of treasury
And yet it isn't enough. This year we will probably build just 110,000
homes. If that sounds like a lot to you let me put you straight: it's
one of the worst years since the Second World War. When you realise
that the population grew by about 270,000 households it's clear it's
nowhere near enough.
No wonder prices are out of reach for so many families. The average
first time buyer is now 35, and home ownership is falling for the
first time in a generation.
The only way out of this crisis is to build our way out.
This week I announced funding of £225m to kick start development at
eight sites, each with plans for over 5,000 new homes. But I want to
think bigger - much bigger. We can't go on building a home here and a
home there and hoping it's enough.
I want us to go back to some of Britain's proud heritage of urban
development and build a new generation of "garden cities" - places
that will grow, thrive and become part of the fabric of the nation.
Of course development is always controversial. It's right to protect
our precious rural landscape and not let England be concreted over.
But the point I've been making in government (and there have been some
lively debates) is that planning big new settlements is the best way
to protect our countryside because the alternative is endless urban
Instead of eating away at the green belt, we can build big and even
designate new green belt around new towns and cities. I think thats
why even the Telegraph was supportive of the plans I outlined this
We could easily build new garden cities totalling a million new homes
in the next ten years without building on any green belt, National
Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. And by doing it we could
deliver homes people can afford in places they want to live.
We can't do this overnight. Scale and ambition take time. But I
believe if we put aside partisan politics and think collectively about
the housing needs of the next generation, we could set Britain on
track for a major wave of new development, new jobs, and new hope.
Ps If you want to help our party campaign on this and other issues
you can do something to help. A donation of just £10, or whatever you
can afford, will go directly to Lib Dem campaigners across the
What do umrats think? It will be too late to help daughter, he'll be
in secondary school bythe time they build and she doesn't want to move
him from that school anyway. Is Nick just making nice noises?