Hopkins defends housing record, agrees 'more to do'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing
kris hopkins MP
Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has defended his government’s record in office, perhaps a tad over-enthusiastically, while inevitably blasting "the mess left by the last administration".
Asked in the House of Commons "what progress has been made on plans to increase housebuilding by 2030?” Hopkins said Tuesday that "the government does not have a Whitehall building target. The last administration had a state target to increase housebuilding to 240,000 dwellings a year, yet housebuilding then fell to its lowest peacetime rate since the 1920s.”
Hopkins agreed there was "more to do" but made it clear he was proud of what had been done so far.
"The coalition government has put in place a range of measures to get Britain building again, fix the broken housing market and help hardworking people get the home they want,” Hopkins said. Action taken includes "wideranging planning reform through the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF); new incentives to deliver housing growth through the New Homes Bonus; as well as the government’s broader long-term economic plan to tackle the deficit left by the last administration and keep interest rates down.”
Hopkins said the government’s list of achievements included:
420,000 new homes delivered since 2010
New orders in residential construction at their highest level since 2007 according to the Office for National Statistics
Housing starts at their highest since 2007 according to DCLG figures
Highest number of first time buyers since 2007 according to the Council for Mortgage Lenders
Repossessions at their lowest since 2007 according to the CML
New home registrations up by 30% in 2013 in England, the highest since 2007, and up 60% in London, according to the NHBC.
Hopkins on the AHP
"Our Affordable Homes Programme will deliver 170,000 homes over the current spending review period (2011-2015) levering in £19.5 billion of public and private funding. We have announced a new 'Affordable Rent to Buy' scheme which will deliver affordable homes through a recoverable fund. We have also published details of a new Affordable Homes Programme for the next spending period, which will lever in up to £23bn in public and private funding to deliver 165,000 homes from 2015 to 2018.”
Hopkins on Right to Buy
"The Right to Buy Scheme, allowing eligible social tenants to buy their homes at a discount, has achieved almost 24,000 sales since April 2010, with the majority (16,200) since we reinvigorated the scheme in 2012. A total of 2,845 council properties were sold between October and December last year, a 42% increase on the same period in 2012."
Hopkins on Help to Buy
"Since April 2013, the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme has offered buyers a 20% equity loan that can be used towards the cost of buying a new build homes, allowing people to buy with a 5% deposit. There were over 30,000 reservations and 19,394 completed loans across England by the end of March 2014, with funding for up to 74,000 sales by March 2016. Alongside this, the Help to Buy: NewBuy scheme has so far supported a further 5,173 households purchase new build homes by the end of March 2014."
Hopkins on the private rented sector
"The £1bn Build to Rent programme, which provides development phase finance, is supporting new high quality development purpose built for private rent and is on track to create up to 10,000 new homes. The programme received £1.4bn of bids under Round One, which is expected to support 15 developments which will provide over 2,600 homes across England. Bidding for Round Two of the Build to Rent Fund was significantly oversubscribed receiving 126 bids to the value of around £3bn."
Hopkins on empty homes
"This government has provided £235m of funding which aims to bring up to 12,000 homes back into use by March 2015. This is part of a wider package of measures to get empty homes and empty buildings back into productive use, in contrast to the last administration’s policy of wholesale demolition. The numbers of empty properties in England have fallen to a 10-year low, and the number of long-term vacant properties has fallen by around a third since 2009."
Hopkins on public sector land
"The Public Sector Land programme has identified land with capacity for over 100,000 homes which we aim to release to the private sector by March 2015. At the end of December 2013, we had released land capable of delivering 68,000 homes to be built. Through the Strategic Land and Property Review we have identified scope to generate £5bn of receipts from government land and property between 2015 and 2020."