I have been written to a lot over the past few weeks about housing in North Cornwall and what needs to be done to help local people, so I am delighted that…funding worth £8.6 billion is allocated across the country. This investment is part of the largest single investment in affordable housing in a decade, the Affordable Homes Programme funding will deliver around 119,000 homes, including 57,000 for ownership, 29,600 for social rent and 6,250 affordable rural homes.
The cash injection could support up to 370,000 jobs across the country for homebuilders, SME developers, and wider businesses supporting the house building industry. This is expected to generate up to £26 billion of other private and public investment. Around half of the new homes from this £8.6 billion funding will be available for affordable homeownership, helping even more people and families to get a foot on the housing ladder. This follows other government schemes to help first-time buyers into homeownership including First Homes, offering new homes at a 30% discount on the open market value, and the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme, which helps first-time buyers secure a mortgage with just a 5% deposit.
The funding will also deliver nearly 30,000 homes for Social Rent, which are typically 50% to 60% of market prices, providing secure, affordable housing to people who need it most. It will also deliver new supported housing for some of the most vulnerable, providing much-needed homes for older or disabled people with support needs.
The funding allocations marks an important step towards the government’s mission to deliver up to 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. However, I appreciate that many North Cornwall constituents also have concerns about Social Housing and renting, and I can assure you that affordable homeownership is just one strand of a larger housing programme. The planning Bill which will be brought back to the House of Commons later this year will give us a real chance to make fundamental changes to housing in Cornwall. I look forward to continuing to work with colleagues in Government, Cornwall Council and the housing sector on these issues.
We have also announced that veteran’s mental health services will benefit from a £2.7 million boost, ensuring the support is in place where it is needed most for our brave personnel who served in Afghanistan, and all former service personnel. Our Armed Forces and veterans represent the very best of us, and recent events in Afghanistan have been yet another reminder of their dedication and sacrifice as many of our people experienced things they will never forget. That is why we are boosting mental health support for veterans with Op COURAGE, the Veteran’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Service, expanding services for those experiencing complex mental and/or physical trauma, or alcohol and substance misuse. As always, any veteran who needs assistance or support should not hesitate to contact me, my door is always open to you.