UK Politics

Borrow more to boost building, says Sajid Javid

The housing crisis should be tackled by borrowing more to fund construction, a senior cabinet minister has said.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said taking advantage of record-low interest rates "can be the right thing if done sensibly".

The housing crisis Britain faced was "the biggest barrier to social progress in our country today", he told the BBC.

The Budget on 22 November would contain more on housing policy, Mr Javid said.

"We are looking at new investments and there will be announcements."

It comes as Mr Javid launches an eight-week review of housing, in which he has called on the industry to offer solutions to the home-buying and selling process.

Speaking to BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Javid said he wanted to "make sure that we're using everything we have available to deal with this housing crisis".

"So for example… you borrow more to invest in the infrastructure that leads to more housing – take advantage of some of the record-low interest rates that we have. I think we should absolutely be considering that."

He added he would "make a distinction between the deficit, which needs to come down – and that's vitally important for our economic credibility…

"But investing for the future, taking advantage of record-low interest rates, can be the right thing if done sensibly. And that can help, not just with the housing itself, but one of the big issues is infrastructure investment that is needed alongside the housing."

Theresa May pledged at the Conservative Party conference this month to fix the housing crisis, as she announced an extra £2bn for affordable housing to build an additional 25,000 social homes.

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