Peter Hindley, Keepmoat Homes CEO, offers his response to the PM’s address at the Conservative Party Conference
Date: October 9, 2017 08:50
“This has been a good conference for those looking to meet the UK’s housing needs.
“Not all homebuilders are the same. This week’s announcements will empower the partnership homebuilders who support the ambitions of local authorities and housing associations. It reassures those who focus on homes affordable for first time buyers.
“Local authorities are potentially a significant source of additional homes. These days, those homes can be of all tenures, such as social, affordable rent, private rent, private sale and shared ownership. A wide range of needs can be met in developments where the profitable tenures subsidise affordable ones, making public money go much further.
“It is often local authorities that have access to the UK’s brownfield sites. These tend to be well located in urban and suburban areas. Being less controversial, these sites can be quicker to get off the ground once the costs of clearing the land are met.
“There is more that the Government can do to support a new generation of council homes and some good policy ideas were trailed in February’s Housing White Paper. We would still like to see to see the relaxation of Housing Revenue Account borrowing restrictions. Borrowing is the biggest single issue for local authorities. They will continue to be dependent on the combination of finance that can be raised through private sector partners and the pots of funding announced by Government.
“After some uncertain signs, we welcome the confidence shown in the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme through the Chancellor’s announcement of an additional £10 billion to support the scheme through to 2021. We remain concerned about what happens after that and would like to see the scheme continue, even if that is in the form of a more sustainable equity loan targeted at first time buyers on lower incomes.”