The type of letters I like to receive from our leaders

Dear Petra,

As you may have seen on the news, I’ve announced an ambitious package to get growth and housing building going. This is not only to make sure we’re building the homes people so desperately need but it will also help boost the economy by kick-starting one of our most important sectors, the construction industry.

When Jo Swinson asked for input from you on growth, house building was one of the top responses. Today’s announcement shows the kind of impact Liberal Democrats are having in the Coalition Government, thanks to our members, on this key issue.

At the heart of yesterday’s announcement was a massive new £10bn guarantee from the Government to house builders which will see tens of thousands of new and affordable homes built. This money is first and foremost targeted at Registered Social Landlords, who have a proven track record in delivering social and affordable homes, and I’m really pleased that organisations including the National Housing Federation and the British Property Federation have welcomed the announcement.

In order to kick-start stalled developments where at the moment nothing is being built and no one is being employed, we’re accelerating the point at which councils and house builders start discussing planning requirements. And to ensure that this leads to more homes being built rather than fewer, I am also ensuring that an additional £300 million is spent on building 15,000 new affordable homes and bringing 5,000 empty homes back into use.

To help first-time buyers buy these, we’re underwriting another £280m to help 16,500 people access the FirstBuy scheme.

And last but not least, to support small, local builders, we’re making it easier temporarily for homeowners to put in a new conservatory, loft extension or garage conversion and for businesses to expand their premises without getting mired in red tape. The precise details will be consulted on, but I hope that people will go ahead and get the local builder in.

This is a big package of measures that I hope will get people building, create more jobs and help those people who are desperately trying to find homes to live in.

You can read more at the Lib Dems’ website.

Best wishes,

Nick Clegg
Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister