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Support for new house building in the UK has almost doubled in the past four years and there is more support for aspiring home owners, new figures show. The data from the British Social Attitude survey reveals that 56% of those questioned support new home being built in their area, some 27 points higher than in 2010. Similarly, the numbers opposed to local house building have more than halved during the same period, from 46% in 2010 to just over one in five now. Housing Minister Brandon Lewis welcomed the figures and said that house building and efforts to help aspiring home owners are central to the government’s long term economic plan. He pointed out that over the past year, housing starts have increased by 10%, while the numbers of first time buyers are at their highest for seven years. ‘Since 2010 the government has scrapped top down targets that pitted neighbours against developers, and replaced them with locally led development through local and neighbourhood plans,’ said Lewis. Councils have also received over £3.4 billion in New Homes Bonus payments to reward communities for building new homes and in the year to October, planning permission has been granted on 240,000 new homes across the country,’ he added. The figures show that those strongly supporting new house building in their area has tripled, from 5% in 2010 to 16% in 2014, while strong opposition has fallen by nearly a third over the same period. The figures also show strong support for efforts to help aspiring home owners, with 38% of those surveyed citing financial support for first time buyers as the best thing the government can do to make homes more affordable. Lewis also pointed out that to date, the Help to Buy scheme has helped over 88,000 households to buy with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require and the new Starter Homes initiative will also enable young first time buyers to purchase a newly built home with a 20% discount. The survey also shows that another 27% backed moves to allocate funding to councils and housing associations to build more homes and since 2010, nearly 217,000 affordable homes have been delivered while council house building starts are at a 23 year high. Continue reading →
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