LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE: More funding for affordable homes

By Nick Duxbury

The government is to ‘tighten rules for lenders’ looking to repossess homes and is allocating more funding to kick-start the development of affordable homes.

Housing minister John Healey told delegates at the Labour Party conference on Tuesday that from this week lenders would have to inform councils before they took action to repossess homes so that support could be given to borrowers.

He also announced the launch of a £180m funding program for councils to build an extra 1,200 new homes.

In a week where the delivery of new social housing was under constant scrutiny, he also assured delegates that under a Labour government there would be no cuts to the housing budget.

However he warned that it would be cut by the Tories who he claimed ‘don’t believe in social housing’.

He accused David Cameron’s Conservative Party of plotting ‘secret plans’ to triple social housing rents and demolish existing housing estates.

The minister said that housing was ‘the area of greatest divide’ between the two parties and said it would be ‘a central campaign issue’ for the next election.

However, in private, party members expressed disappointment that despite Healey’s pledge, housing was not mentioned in Gordon Brown’s speech on Tuesday. (Nick Duxbury, Property Week) http://www.propertyweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=297&storycode=3149939&c=1

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