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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Raab says government aim is to make housing market more affordable

In what is regarded as his most important speech since becoming housing minister, Dominic Raab has told a conference that it is the government’s aim to increase the supply of new homes to make the market more affordable.

Addressing the Chartered Institute of Housing in Manchester yesterday, Raab made a speech covering safety, the Grenfell fire, social housing, modular building and other issues.

But in one particular area - the volume of new homes completed - he set out his government’s views.

“... We’ve set a target of delivering 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s. It is not because it’s a nice round number dreamt up by civil servants in Whitehall around a water cooler, It is because we need to be delivering at that rate ... 

“To start making the cost of buying a home more affordable, for the nurse or teacher who can’t afford to live in the community they serve, for the couple working extra shifts trying to save for a deposit, And for the next generation who look at what it takes to rent or buy in the private sector, And find it just far too far beyond their reach, however hard they work.

“I understand that frustration, We share their aspiration, And the government is determined to make it a reality.”

He also dedicated part of the speech to reiterating government policy on letting agents’ fees and further clampdowns on buy to let.

He told the conference: “And for those who aspire to rent rather than own their own home, we want a better deal for you too. The Tenant Fees Bill, currently going through parliament, bans unfair fees charged to tenants. From now on, when you’re renting a house or an apartment, what you see is what you pay.

“We’re championing the Build to Rent sector, which delivers long-term tenancies on a serious scale. Before 2012, the sector hardly existed at all. With our backing we now have over 20,000 Build to Rent homes and 100,000 more coming through in the pipeline. Build to Rent properties are springing up in over 40 sites here in Manchester alone.

“And, yes, we’re cracking down on rogue landlords with banning orders and increased civil penalties, First of all to protect tenants, But also to preserve the reputation of the vast majority of decent landlords in the sector.”

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