Prime Minister addresses housing

Discussing the first-time buyer (FTB) problem, Brown said: “I’ve met too many young couples who’ve told me, ‘we work hard, we save, we play by the rules, we want to get on and yet we can’t afford to buy or even rent our first home’.”

In response, Brown pledged to increase house building to 240,000 new homes a year in places that would respect green spaces and the environment, with an aim for two million more home owners than when the party came to power in 1997.

Environmentally friendly towns also came under the spotlight in the keynote speech, as Brown claimed he would build 10 new ‘eco-towns’ with low and zero carbon homes.

He said: “We are announcing that instead of just five new eco towns, we will now aim for 10 – building thousands of homes in every region of the country.”

Brown also confirmed an increase in the spending on affordable and social housing, with £8 billion set to be invested. Brown called on all housing associations and councils not only to support shared equity for FTBs, but to help build more social homes for rent, more homes for key workers and more homes to cut the unacceptable levels of overcrowding.

The eco-town pledge was welcomed by the Town and Country Planning Association chief executive, Gideon Amos, who said: “The Prime Minister is absolutely right to make social and affordable housing in sustainable communities a priority.”

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