Let us build houses plea

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AROUND 200 new homes for sale could be built each year in South Holland if the Government runs with an idea put forward by district council leader Gary Porter.

The Government is injecting cash into the economy, a process known as “quantitative easing”, but Coun Porter says that money is doing nothing by sitting in the banks.

If the cash were instead given to councils for house-building programmes, South Holland alone could have about 200 new homes each year and the building work would create an extra 750 jobs.

Coun Porter said: “It would put about another 60 to 70 million quid into the local economy.”

The council leader met Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday and again yesterday.

Coun Porter told The Spalding Guardian: “Mr Cameron said ‘It sounds like an interesting idea – we are looking to local government to come up with innovative ideas. Get a paper put together and we will push it through the Treasury’.

“I was very pleased. He could have been nice and dismissive at the same time, but he wasn’t – he was kind of nice and enthusiastic at the same time, which I wasn’t really expecting to be quite honest.”

The council leader is asking the Local Government Association to put together a scheme but as yet there is no date set for when it will be ready for a Government decision.

He said Broadgate Homes is prepared to put £500,000 aside so it can “give” £10,000 a plot to the first 50 homes.

Broadgate Homes boss Ian Canham said the £10,000 would be repayable over the lifetime of the mortgage.

The council would offer an 85 per cent mortgage, repayable at three per cent.

Mr Canham said his company would only lend on houses it builds but it will have the benefit of cutting the risk to the council and may also create more movement in the local housing market.

He said: “It should be able to move the housing market in a good way.”

Most lenders ask first time buyers to put up a ten per cent deposit themselves and that proves a major obstacle for many trying to get a foot on the housing ladder.