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MPs vote against support for local first-time buyers

  • 06/01/2016
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MPs vote against support for local first-time buyers
MPs have rejected an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill which would allow a proportion of new homes to be set aside for first-time buyers in a given region.

The amendment, tabled in the House of Commons last night, proposed that local first-time buyers should be given ‘first dibs’ on buying new homes built in areas with ‘acute housing pressure’.

MPs rebuffed the housing measure by a significant majority of 277 to 72.

MP for Durham City Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, who tabled the amendment, explained that the new clause would “empower local planning authorities to impose a planning obligation…for the construction of new housing for sale requiring that a proportion of the housing is marketed exclusively to local first time buyers.”

In recent months Labour’s mayoral candidate for London, Sadiq Khan, has been vocal on the issue of new homes in the capital being sold to foreign investors before being completed.

Speaking in the Commons yesterday, Khan said it was a ‘scandal’ that investors in Asia and the Middle East were being granted first permission of new homes in the capital over Londoners.

Blackman-Woods agreed, adding that the clause would help to address this issue. “We know that this is a particular issue in London, because so many of the new properties are sold off plan to overseas investors before local people have a chance to enter the housing market,” she said.

“We want to ensure that some new housing is reserved, at least for a period, so that local people have a chance to get on to the housing ladder.”

On Twitter, MPs were critical of the timing of the Housing Bill debate on Tuesday, which many indicated was a sign of the government’s prioritisation of housing issues.

Stella Creasy, Labour and Co-op MP for Walthamstow, wrote: “Debate on housing bill finishes 2am -making decisions this late at night definitely doesn’t lead 2 right outcome as it passed…”

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