On 19th July 2016 Lord Shipley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of their ability to achieve their target of one million new homes by 2020.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the 2015 spending review announced £60 million of grants to respond to the problem caused by second home ownership in areas with desirable coastal and rural housing. The aim was to provide affordable housing in perpetuity for local families who would otherwise be priced out of market. We were expecting an announcement on that but certain events intervened recently. Can the Minister assure us that this will go ahead and when it will come on stream?
Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth: I thank the right reverend Prelate for that point. He is absolutely right that this is an issue. Local authorities, as I know from Wales—this applies in England as well—have a power to use council tax as a device to ensure that people pay an additional amount on a second home. We are looking at this; I will write to the right reverend Prelate as regards progress on it and will make a copy available in the Library.