The Tories have unveiled plans to offer communities financial incentives to build more homes
Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps said Britain needed more homes and the government’s ‘top-down Soviet style’ targets were not working and pledged that the UK would become a ‘nation of homebuilders’ under a prospective Tory government.
He told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester that the Tories would match ‘pound for pound’ the extra money a community received in council tax for six years when that community built more homes.
He also pledged to give communities the power to expand their own villages by up to 10 per cent for 10 years, under the Tories’ new local housing trusts.
Shapps said there were currently fewer homes built in Britain than at any time since the end of the Second World War. He pointed to ‘more repossessions, fewer first-time buyers and nearly twice as many families on social housing waiting lists’.
To applause, he said: ‘You and I know that this country needs more homes - homes for our children and grandchildren. But we also know that the top-down Soviet style Labour approach to housing just isn’t working.
‘So we’ll scrap the unelected regional assemblies, abolish the regional spatial strategies and dump the pointless Labour housing targets.
‘Because if they haven’t delivered by now, they never will.’
Shapps went on: ‘Let’s start by giving people something in return for development. When your community builds more homes, we’ll match pound for pound the extra money that your area gets in council tax for six years.
‘The more ambitious you are, the more money your neighbourhood will get.’
This would result in better services and reduced council tax for residents, he said.