Business Secretary Vince Cable wants to see a massive wave of house building.
Dr Cable made the call at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Brighton today (September 26) and said the country needed to build an extra 100,000 homes a year, driven by housing associations and councils.
He told the conference the country needed a demand stimulus and said one big step would be carrying out the coalition’s commitment to get more houses built.
He said: “There is distress in the construction industry. The private market will only heal slowly because mortgages are scarce.
“What we need is an aggressive programme of house building by housing associations and local councils, with government providing guarantees so they can build, in large numbers, now.
“We need an extra 100,000 houses a year to meet demand. That would create half a million new jobs.”
“There is still time to turn the economy around.”
Mike Leonard, director of the Modern Masonry Alliance, said: “The MMA applauds the sentiment to build our way out of recession. We have been working with Mr Cable and the deputy leader of the Lib Dems Simon Hughes to promote this policy.
“We would caution, however, that the Coalition will be measured on outcomes rather than rhetoric. We have proposed an achievable program of 25000 additional public rented homes and we stand ready to help make sure this is delivered in 18 months.
“We are confident that the money can be found and that we have the permitted land, materials and skills to create the jobs and growth our economy needs.”