Conservative Party Conference

Thursday 06 October 2016

The party conference season is now in full swing and housing featured prominently on day two of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government of the conservatives, addressed the audience with a speech lambasting Labour's record on housebulding and outlining the tories new plans for addressing the housing shortage.   

In the last year of full records, the Conservatives claim to have delivered more than 170,000 additional properties across England.

Javid said:

"It’s not a bad number but it’s far fewer than we need. 

"The big developers must release their stranglehold on supply. 

"It’s time to stop sitting on landbanks, delaying build-out: the homebuyers must come first. 

"Almost 280,000 planning permissions were issued over the last twelve months …

… I want to see each and every one of those homes built as soon as possible."

Javid went on to say that he thought local leaders, MPs and councillors must be prepared to make difficult calls on housing even if they are unpopular. 

"Ultimately, we have a responsibility to build more houses.

"A responsibility, not just to our constituents, but to the next generation.

"It is for that reason that we are going to take unprecedented steps to open up the market."

Home Builders Fund

"First, today we are opening a massive £3 billion Home Builders Fund. 

"This major package will help us build more than 225,000 new homes and will create thousands of jobs up and down the country. 

"It will help us get more SMEs building, encourage custom-builders, and allow developers to build the infrastructure needed to support new housing."

Accelerated Construction on public land

"Second, we will pilot a new initiative: Accelerated Construction on public land. 

"We will take Government-owned land and partner with contractors and investors to speed up housebuilding.

"We will create new supply chains using offsite construction.

"And we will encourage new models of building to make houses that people want, more cheaply and at pace. 

"These measures will allow us to get started on 15,000 homes by 2020.  

We will get more homes built, more quickly."

Urban Regeneration

"Third, we will bring forward a package of measures to encourage urban regeneration and to build on brownfield land.

"We want to radically increase brownfield development and bring life back to abandoned sites.

"That means delivering high quality housing for families, bringing new energy to our high streets and town centres …

"… abandoned shopping centres being transformed into new communities …

"… and increasing density of housing around stations to build homes that people want to live in.

"These three initiatives are just the beginning.  

"We will publish a Housing White Paper later this year, with further significant measures …all helping us towards our ambition for a million new homes by 2020."

He went on to say about how devolution will help to address local and gave Andy Street, candidate for Mayor in the West Midlands a pat on the back for his nomination saying he is the perfect candidate, because he understands the local area, the local economy and local communities.

After outlining his three-step plan, in true politician style he told party faithfuls: 

"Labour, on the other hand, don’t have a clue what communities are all about.  

"And they don’t support home ownership.

"And they certainly are not capable of getting the houses we need built.

"Let’s look at their record:

"Under Labour, housebuilding fell to levels not seen since the 1920s!

"Under Labour, in one twelve month period, just 75,000 houses were started.

"Under Labour, average house prices almost doubled compared to average wages.

"The truth is, under Labour, targets were missed, waiting lists grew longer and more and more homes stood empty…

"… And they have the audacity to lecture us about housing policy!

"But there’s a difference between them and us.

"They want a society that’s dependent on the state, rather than a state that serves society. 

"That’s why they’ve always opposed the Right to Buy." 

We will of course keep you updated on the progress of initiatives announced a the conference in future newsletters.