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APPG chair: Govt housing policy too focused on new-builds

Construction Building 480

The All Party Parliamentary Group on housing chair Stephen Gilbert has criticised Government housing policy for focusing on new-build properties.

Speaking at a Gentoo fringe event on home ownership at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton this week, Gilbert called for schemes such as FirstBuy and NewBuy to be extended.

He said: “There are still further things the Government can do. We need movement in the whole market and not just in new-build. The extension of schemes like FirstBuy into the second hand housing market would make a significant difference.”

Gilbert defended the Lib Dem plan to allow individuals to release money from their pensions pot to help fund their children’s mortgage deposit.

He said: “Nick Clegg is not saying that after the hotel of mum and dad and the bank of mum and dad, we should now raid the pension of mum and dad too. It is a sensible step for many people who have equity and capital that can be leveraged for the generational divide. It is not going to be a panacea or a quick fix but is one of a range of innovations to unlock the significant, tucked away wealth that the Government wants.”

London & Country head of communications David Hollingworth says: “It wouldn’t be practical to extend the schemes beyond new build homes because the Government needs the financial support from housebuilders to fund the schemes and it is also using them as a way of supporting the building sector.”

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