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Labour launch policy to support house-building in Maidstone

By Alan Smith

The Labour Party has announced a new “Help To Build” policy to encourage house-building.

Two of the party’s shadow ministers came to Maidstone to launch the scheme where they were greeted by the Labour PPC for Maidstone and The Weald, Allen Simpson, and also met Maidstone-based developer Paul Ray.

Chris Leslie MP, Jack Ray, Clare Ray, Allen Simpson, Paul Ray and Emma Reynolds MP
Chris Leslie MP, Jack Ray, Clare Ray, Allen Simpson, Paul Ray and Emma Reynolds MP

Chris Leslie, MP, shadow chief secretary to the treasury, said: “Allen has told us about Maidstone’s challenges with housing, so we are delighted we can launch Labour’s Help to Build scheme here.

“The scheme will encourage small house-builders to deliver more homes, as well as stimulating the local economy and helping to prevent prices from spiralling ever further out of reach for young homebuyers.“

He was accompanied by Emma Reynolds MP, the shadow housing minister.

Mr Ray is currently building a small development of 14 homes in Walderslade.

He runs his business at Langley Park with the help of his wife Clare and son Jack. In 2012, his company won a national award from the Federation of Master Builders for the quality of his work.

Mr Simpson said: “There are going to be a lot of houses built in Kent in the next few years. I want them built by local firms creating local jobs.

“I am pleased that the ministers chose to launch this policy here with a Maidstone builder.”

Labour is promising support for home building by providing Government guarantees for bank lending to SME (small) construction firms in a similar way to how the current Help to Buy scheme underwrites mortgages.

Maidstone council is currently working towards a target of building 19,600 new homes in the borough by 2031.

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