LONDON May 18 Prime Minister Theresa May
pledged to provide funding to local councils in Britain to build
more homes, in a move which could significantly boost the amount
of government-backed social housing for the first time in
In the 1980s, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
allowed council tenants to buy their homes at rock-bottom prices
and heavily restricted more council building, depleting the
stock of cheaply available homes.
Years of underbuilding have left many tenants spending up to
half of their salary on rent and making properties in the south
east and London unaffordable to younger buyers, pushing the
growing housing crisis to the top of the political agenda.
On Thursday the Conservatives acknowledged the need for
councils to do more to boost available stock.
"We will help councils to build, but only those councils who
will build high-quality, sustainable and integrated
communities," the Conservatives said in their policy document.
"We will work with them to improve their capability and
capacity to develop more good homes, as well as providing them
with significant low-cost capital funding."
The Conservatives said the homes will be sold after ten to
fifteen years with an automatic right to buy for tenants.
Overall the party promised to build 1.5 million homes by the
end of 2022, crack down on rising ground rents and increase
security for good tenants by encouraging landlords to offer
longer tenancies as standard.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)