Brown makes affordable housing 'immediate priority'

26 June 2007
Incoming prime minister Gordon Brown has vowed to make the provision of affordable housing a "national priority" ahead of moving into Number 10 this week.

Mr Brown, who will begin his new role on June 27th, told BBC One's Politics Show: "We've got a national priority to build more houses."

"We will increase the budget for social housing by 50 per cent," he pledged, vowing to tackle the need for more affordable housing "immediately".

He added that the private sector would take responsibility for building the majority of the new homes while housing associations would share the load.

His comments came shortly after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced it was to launch an investigation into the housing sector and Mr Brown emphasised that the government would also examine whether existing arrangements regulating house building, for both rental and purchase properties, were adequately meeting demand.

The groups needing to be first addressed were "young couples wanting to get onto the housing ladder for the first time" and "frustrated" by the inability to buy, he said.

The OFT investigation sets out to establish whether the £20 billion annual housing market is best serving the needs of consumers.

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