I completely understand concerns regarding the availability of affordable homes, and it is vital that more homes are built which people on lower incomes can afford to live in. That is why I welcome the recent planning reforms which encourage more affordable housing to be built, on top of the over half a million homes built during the last decade.
Between 1997 and 2010, house prices across England and Wales skyrocketed from four times to seven times average annual earnings. I recognise that this has priced many people out of the housing market and more needs to be done to provide affordable housing.
In 2018-19 alone, over 240,000 new homes were delivered, the highest level in England in over 30 years. While this is welcome progress more needs to be done, and I am encouraged that the manifesto I stood on pledged to renew the Affordable Homes Programme to deliver 250,000 more affordable homes across the country by 2022.
I am also glad that recent reforms to the National Planning Policy Framework, with which local authorities must comply, set out new planning measures to encourage affordable housing. These include the stipulation that on major housing developments at least 10 per cent of the homes should be available for affordable homeownership.