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Housing

Baby boomers don’t get ‘reality’ of housing market, says minister

Sajid Javid says the government wants to see more homes built “in the right places at the right prices”

In a striking speech in Bristol today, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said baby boomers simply do not understand the difficulty young people face in finding an affordable home of their own.

The minister responsible for housing attacked the idea “affordability is only a problem for millennials that spend too much on nights out and smashed avocados” as “nonsense.”

During his big speech Javid said: “The people who tell me this – usually baby boomers who have long-since paid off their own mortgage – they are living in a different world.

“They’re not facing up to the reality of modern daily life and have no understanding of the modern market.”

It comes as the latest government statistics show a slight rise in house building. Just over 217,000 homes were built in England last year, up around 27,000 from the previous year.

But Javid said the government wanted to do more to fix the “broken” housing market and suggested further action would be taken to ease planning restrictions and start “freeing up more sites.”

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We owe it to our future generations to fix this broken housing market

“Steps have been made in the right direction – but I want to see a giant leap, and hundreds of thousands more homes,” said Javid. “We owe it to our future generations to fix this broken housing market and help them find a home of their own.

“Whilst some councils are recognising their responsibilities and stepping up to meet the housing challenge, too many are still not acting. That’s why I’m stepping in now to make sure they act.”

The latest figures show over 70 councils across the country do not have an approved local plan for house-building.

The government has now launched formal interventions with 15 of these local authorities to make sure them come up with a program to allow the construction of more homes.

Yet Javid also warned against “piecemeal speculative development with no strategic direction, building on sites simply because they are there rather than because homes are needed on them.”

He added: “I’m totally committed to building more of the right homes in the right places at the right prices.”

More specific policies are expected during next week’s Budget.

Photo: Richter Frank-Jurgen, licensed under Creative Commons.

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