Autumn Statement: George Osborne to promise 400,000 new homes by 2020

Chancellor pledges to deliver the largest house building programme since the 1970s

Oliver Wright
Political Editor
Wednesday 25 November 2015 01:43 GMT
The Chancellor will set a target to build more than 400,000 affordable homes by 2020
The Chancellor will set a target to build more than 400,000 affordable homes by 2020 (Getty Images)

More than 100,000 families will be helped on to the housing ladder by an expansion of the Government’s shared ownership scheme, George Osborne will announce, as he pledges to deliver the largest house building programme since the 1970s.

Under proposals to be outlined in the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, any family earning less than £80,000 a year will be eligible to part purchase a new home and move in – buying more of the property over time as they can afford it.

The Government will provide £4bn to help housing associations, local authorities and the private sector to build 135,000 of these new homes that will then be sold into shared ownership by the end of the decade.

Overall, Mr Osborne will set a target for the Government to build more than 400,000 new affordable homes across England by 2020.

Of these, 200,000 will be new starter homes sold to first time buyers under the age of 40 and available at a 20 per cent discount. The government will also provide £400m to help local housing associations build 8,000 new specialist homes for older people and those with disabilities.

Mr Osborne hopes the housing announcements will off-set at least some of the negative headlines expected to be generated by the swingeing public sector cuts he will lay out as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

But against a backdrop of worse-than-expected borrowing figures, Labour will attack Mr Osborne for presiding over one of the lowest productivity performance of any country in the developed world.

The shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is expected to point to new figures showing that only Greece and Italy have seen lower levels of productivity gains since 2010.

“Low productivity means lower wages in the future and a recovery built on sand,” Mr McDonnell will say.

“Instead of investing to meet this country’s potential, George Osborne’s further austerity cuts are holding Britain back.”

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