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Barratt boss seeks housing discounts

NEWS

THE BOSS of Britain's biggest house builder is calling on the Government to adopt a more radical solution to the country's affordable housing crisis.

Barratt group chief executive David Pretty wants to see the role of housing associations scaled down and replaced with a new definition of 'social'properties which would be sold at a discount to key workers directly by private developers.

Mr Pretty said: 'House builders would contract to sell a proportion of their new homes at well below market value.

'At the moment house builders are expected to build a proportion of social housing on many developments.These are sold in bulk at discounted prices to housing associations, which largely pay for them with Government subsidies and grants - funding which this year will total around £1.5 billion.

'Under my proposal, which brings lowcost sale into the equation, house builders would undertake to sell a proportion of homes on new developments at dramatically less than the market price to key workers nominated by local councils.'

People buying these homes would have to agree to sell them on only to other key workers with a similar discount to the prevailing market price they originally benefited from.

Mr Pretty wants his scheme introduced alongside faster planning procedures and believes it would not require any extra social housing funding from the Government.

He said: 'This is an opportunity for house builders to work with the Government to make a real start on sorting out a social housing crisis that's getting worse and will not go away.'