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Theresa May to take 'personal charge' of government plans to fix UK’s 'broken' housing market

Credit: PA

Theresa May has pledged to take "personal charge" for government plans to fix the UK’s “broken” housing market.

Acknowledging a lack of affordable properties in the UK has created a "rootless generation," the prime minister said too few homes have been built, and too slowly, which has forced prices to rise.

A total of 217,350 new homes were added to the stock in England last year - up 27,700 on the previous year, official figures show.

But the figure still fell well short of the 250,000 housing charity Shelter estimates are needed each year to tackle the shortage.

"We must get back into the business of building the good quality new homes for people who need them most," Mrs May said.

"That is why I have made it my mission to build the homes the country needs and take personal charge of the Government's response."

The prime minister said too few homes have been built, and too slowly. Credit: PA

The Government has announced plans to remove housing associations' debt to provide a stable investment environment to fund new homes.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said housing associations will be reclassified as private sector organisations "freed from the shackles of public sector bureaucracy."

He added: "Associations will be able to concentrate on their core, crucial mission building homes."

The communities secretary also warned of a “drifting” generation who move between tenancies without ever feeling part of a community.

Sajid Javid warned of a risk of creating 'a rootless generation'. Credit: PA

Mr Javid said: "The generation crying out for help with housing is not over-entitled.

"They don't want the world handed to them on a plate. They want simple fairness, moral justice, the opportunity to play by the same rules enjoyed by those who came before them.

"Without affordable, secure, safe housing we risk creating a rootless generation, drifting from one short-term tenancy to the next, never staying long enough to play a role in their community."

Could the Autumn Budget include help for first-time buyers? Credit: PA

Chancellor Philip Hammond has hinted next week’s budget could include help for first-time buyers, but warned there was no "silver bullet" to fix the housing market.

On Wednesday, Mr Hammond said: "There isn't a single thing that solves the challenge of affordability in the housing market - we are a crowded island and this is a very complex challenge.

"But we have done a lot of work on this and next week we will start to set out our plan for addressing the housing challenges in this country, making sure that the next generation has the same opportunities as their parents did for home ownership and the accumulation of personal wealth through assets."

Labour's shadow housing secretary John Healey said: "After seven years of failure on housing, ministers still have no plan to fix the housing crisis.

"Since 2010, housing problems have got worse on all fronts, from rising homelessness to falling home-ownership.The number of newly-built homes is still far below what is needed."