Ruth Kelly sets out commitment to housing

Posted: 14 Jul 2006 10:40:40 GMT

            Property News - Ruth Kelly sets out commitment to housing

In a letter to the prime minister, Ruth Kelly has outlined her ambitions for her new role and has highlighted some of the most pressing issues that she will face.

Ms Kelly, the secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, began by stating that homeownership is at the heart of her vision.

"We will provide targeted help for first-time buyers and key workers - helping over 100,000 people on lower incomes into homeownership by 2010," she promised.

Creating mixed communities of different incomes and types of housing is also a priority for Ms Kelly, while changes to the Decent Homes programme will be critical in the department's efforts to transform some of the UK's worst estates.

A key problem in the UK, according to Ms Kelly, is that too few homes have been built for decades.

With this in mind, she will be looking to increase house building to a level of 200,000 a year by 2016, to cope with rising demand brought about in part by a growing number of smaller households.

But all of these changes will be carried out with the environment in mind, claims Ms Kelly.

"Our long-term ambition is to make the Thames Gateway carbon-neutral and we also want to make progress in other Growth Areas, achieving improvements in energy and water efficiency of up to 50 per cent in some developments," she concluded.

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