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Guest column by Harriett Baldwin MP

19th March 2018

Travelling around Worcestershire, you can clearly see that the county workforce is busy building homes. The dream of home ownership - for all those that aspire to it - is one that I back strongly. With a record number of people in work, we should do everything we can to ensure that people can enjoy the security of home ownership as well as the security of a regular pay packet.

At the last Budget, the Chancellor committed £15.3 billion for housing over the next five years bringing total support to at least £44 billion.

In the south of Worcestershire, there are ambitious plans to build nearly 30,000 new homes over the next two decades. According to National Housebuilding Confederation 2,225 new homes have been registered since 2010 in West Worcestershire alone - new registrations have doubled from 285 to 519 in the last two years.

With people living longer and staying their homes for longer too, the demand for homes continues to rise so we need to both build more homes but also help younger people to get their first foot on the property ladder. It is also key to build more extra care housing to make it easier for older couples to downsize.

Nationally, 350,000 people have used the Help to Buy schemes to help them buy their own home and stamp duty has been abolished for over 80 per cent of first time buyers, helping 16,000 people.

The Government has also introduced measures to crack down on rogue landlords, make the private rental sector fairer for tenants and to conduct a review into the issues of social housing to develop plans to make sure we build the right homes in the right places. The new Homelessness Prevention Act is delivering £1 billion of funding to tackle homelessness. Many communities are now developing their own local planning blueprints called Neighbourhood Plans and I hope that over the coming years, smaller communities will be able to build houses at their own, locally approved, sites and help our smaller villages to organically grow providing more housing for local people.

Harriett says...

Harriett Baldwin
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