OPINION
07/02/2020 14:54 GMT | Updated 07/02/2020 20:46 GMT

I Want To Make The Dream Of Home Ownership A Reality For This Generation

This Conservative government is here to serve its people and extending the dream of home ownership is central to this ambition, housing secretary Robert Jenrick writes.

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House buying has been increasingly out of reach for the majority of the population.

As Housing Secretary, I’m on a personal mission to boost housing prospects for everyone right across the country and build the homes of all tenures that people need. 

The new Conservative government is here to serve its people and extending the dream of home ownership is central to this ambition.

We’re already making breakthroughs – building more homes than in any year bar one in the last 30 years.

Last year, we delivered 244,000 additional homes, but we need to help more people get a foot on the housing ladder.

I want to raise the bar and help more young people and the hardworking frontline staff of our public services – local people who work endlessly to provide the best nursing, the best medical care and the best education for their local area.

That’s why today I am elevating the offer and launching our First Homes scheme, reducing the costs of a proportion of new homes for first-time buyers and local people.

This new offer could see tens of thousands of First Homes built up and down the country, enriching the choices of homes available across the regions.

We all know that owning a home provides people with a unique sense of pride and responsibility – it means having a place to make your own.

I remember my grandfather telling me how he became the first person on his street in Manchester to buy his house and quite possibly the first in his family as well. 

To him and generations since, owning a home was about more than four walls and a roof.

It was about planting the seeds for your future, creating a place for your family to grow, building a stable life in your local community. It was about a sense of place – something that is the heart of this government.

But today, while most young people dream of becoming a homeowner, only 27% of 24 to 35 year olds are property owners.

That needs to change immediately. 

We know that the biggest barrier is price. Over the last 23 years, the average national house price has increased from just under £59,000 over £235,000, quadrupling the deposit needed to buy.

As a result, young people struggle to save up and are forced to move out of the places they grew up in to buy a home.

First Homes will address this and create a new generation of homeowners by cutting the cost of new homes by a minimum of 30 per cent for first time buyers.

Not only will this lower deposit and mortgage requirements, but it will improve the prospects for people who find the market unaffordable.

And the discount would be locked in to the property in perpetuity – meaning that future generations will continue to benefit from this revolutionary scheme.

Regardless of whether you want to live in Cornwall or Cumbria, I want to help local people to be able to stay in their communities and build a family wherever they feel most at home.

Everyone remembers the moment they get the keys to their first home – it’s a massive moment that you remember for the rest of your life.

First Homes is central to passing on that sense of empowerment on to the next generation.

I want to unlock the dream of homeownership, making it a reality for this generation and the next and today’s announcement will help to accelerate home ownership and put local people first when it comes to buying a home.

We are also legislating on rights for renters and will soon launch the Social Housing White Paper – a personal priority for me as Secretary of State. 

My message to HuffPost readers aspiring to buy their own home is clear – we are on your side and here to support you.

Robert Jenrick is secretary of state for housing, communities and local government.