BORIS JOHNSON has insisted his pledge for a million more homes in the next five years is ‘deliverable’ as he outlined Tory plans designed to ‘empower’ renters and help first-time buyers.
The prime minister announced a series of manifesto policies on a visit to a new housing development in Wixams, near Bedford, where he tried his hand at bricklaying.
He vowed to change the law to end ‘no fault evictions’ which see tenants forced out of rental properties without good reason.
‘We’re the party that actually builds the homes that this country needs,’ Mr Johnson told reporters.
‘We built a record amount, 240,000 last year — 57,000 affordable.
‘We’re supporting the creation of a million more homes — help to buy and all the things we’ve already done, we’ll continue with that — but we’re also supporting the rental sector and helping people who are currently renting to buy as well.’ The party did not provide costings for the policies.
Mr Johnson smoothed cement and laid bricks on a wall at a new home on the Willow Grove estate. He remarked that his efforts were ‘not bad’, before looking back and adding: ‘Kind of.’
Bricklaying foreman Matt Quinn suggested he was following in the footsteps of Winston Churchill, who enjoyed bricklaying as a hobby.
Mr Johnson met apprentices and posed for selfies at the site. One construction worker wore a vest with the message: ‘Love you Boris, got my vote.’
Other measures outlined by the party include helping renters buy homes with long-term, fixed-rate mortgages requiring only five per cent deposits, and a pledge to offer 30 per cent discounts for local first-time buyers.
Mr Johnson also said the Tories would introduce lifetime rental deposits so down-payments can be transferred from one property to the next, before the deposit from the first property is repaid.
Meanwhile, the party’s campaign coach was temporarily left stranded in Bedford yesterday with staffers and journalists on board because of a fault with the electric wing mirror.
Mr Johnson was not on board at the time — he had travelled by train earlier.