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Theresa May announces £2bn injection for affordable housing

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The prime minister has pledged an extra £2 billion to be spent on affordable housing in her keynote speech to the Conservative Party conference today (4 October)

Theresa May announced the cash injection as part of the Tories’ plans for ‘fixing the broken housing market’, acknowledging that for ‘30 or 40 years we simply haven’t built enough homes’.

She said this extra money would bring the government’s total affordable housing commitment to ‘almost’ £9 billion.

‘We will encourage councils as well as housing associations to bid for this money,’ she explained. She added that the government would ensure the land and skills were available for this housing, but had a clear message for housebuilders: ‘You must do your duty to Britain and build the homes our country needs’.

Earlier in the conference, chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the government would invest £10 billion into its Help to Buy initiative. 

Elsewhere in her speech, May acknowledged the ‘unimaginable tragedy at Grenfell Tower’, saying the fire ‘should never have happened and should never be allowed to happen again’.

She added that wherever an individual or organisation is found ‘to be negligent’ regarding the disaster, ‘justice must be done’.

May also discussed the Brexit negotiations, saying she wanted an ‘open global and self-confident Britain’. She said she wanted to form a ‘new deep and special partnership between a strong successful European Union and a sovereign Britain’.

Regarding the status of EU nationals living in the UK, she said: ‘If you are a citizen of the EU … I know you will feel unsettled and nervous … you are welcome here … We want you to stay.’

The prime minister also said that former chancellor George Osborne was right to back the Northern Powerhouse, and that the government would back it too. On Monday, at the conference, Hammond announced a £300 million boost for the North’s railway network and said the government was ‘committed’ to the Northern Powerhouse.

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