The Conservatives look set to build on their housing policy announcements from the party conference, with housing taking a central role in the Budget.
In a piece in the Sunday Times, unnamed ‘cabinet sources’ told the paper that “lots of ministers are of the view that housing is where we need to be most radical and would be most effective.”
The Budget, which is set to be unveiled on the 22nd November, is rumoured to be building up to a major ‘reset’ and try to swing youth votes away from Labour.
The Budget could include a relaxing of austerity for the benefit of housebulding, as well as a range of other measures, some of which were dropped from the Housing White Paper released back in February.
Among the proposals are allowing councils to borrow to increase building and a relaxing of green belt policy.
The green belt issue has long been a thorn in the side for the Conservatives, with many backbenchers from rural and leafy areas.
It is rumoured that secretary of state for communities and local government, Sajid Javid, and under-fire David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, are among cabinet ministers urging Hammond to be bold in the Budget.
Javid, supported by his former colleague and now May’s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, has won the support of the chancellor to “think big” to solve Britain’s housing crisis.
Theresa May announced at the Conservative Party conference a further £2bn for affordable housing, with councils and housing associations able to bid for this fund to build new housing – including social rent.
Meanwhile, the prime minister is calling large private developers to the House of Commons this week to urge them to boost their output.
Housing associations and local authorities are also expected to attend the meeting, in what the government are terming as a “major intervention” in the industry by the PM.
In her party conference speech, May said she will “dedicate her premiership” to solving the housing crisis.