I completely understand concerns regarding the availability of affordable homes, and it is vital that more homes are built which households 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.
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 2017-18 alone, 222,000 new homes were delivered. This was the highest level of new homes delivered across England in all but one of the last 31 years. While this is welcome progress more needs to be done, and I am encouraged that an extra £2 billion has been allocated for the Affordable Homes Programme, bringing the total funding to over £9 billion. This programme will deliver at least 250,000 more affordable homes by 2022.
I am also glad that recent reforms announced 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 home ownership.
I am confident that the upcoming Spending Review will consider the best way forward in funding social housing.