Sajid Javid tells millennials: Keep eating smashed avocados

Helen Cahill
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Housing reform is expected in the Budget (Source: Getty)

Communities secretary Sajid Javid today defended millennials against those who say young people need to quit eating avocados to save for a home.

The plight of would-be homeowners was brought into the spotlight this week when estate agent Strutt & Parker said young people could save for a home more quickly if they stopped buying “luxuries” such as sandwiches for lunch.

Speaking in Bristol today, Javid said it was “nonsense” that young people couldn't afford homes because they spent to much on nights out and exotic fruits.

Read more: Come again? Two-thirds of Nimbys are worried about rising house prices

“Where once it would have taken an average couple three years to save for a deposit it will now take a quarter of a century. Assuming, of course, they can afford to save at all,” Javid said.

“And last year, the average first-time buyer in London needed a deposit of more than £90,000. That’s a lot of avocados.”

Javid was launching plans to reclassify housing associations as private sector organisations, allowing them to borrow more easily to build new homes.

Read more: Reach for the stars: Builders urge Hammond to axe property height rules

The move will clear £60bn of debt from the government’s balance sheet.

The communities secretary, who has been pushing for radical housing reform from Philip Hammond on housing in the Autumn Budget, said he was ready to “rise to the challenge” of the housing shortage.

“Faced with the crisis of the Second World War, Churchill demanded “action this day” so the country could rise to the challenge," he said.

“And, faced with an unprecedented housing crisis, that’s what you’re going to get from this government. Real action, day after day, week after week, to give this country a housing market that works for everyone.

“In next week’s Budget you’ll see just how seriously we take this challenge, just how hard we’re willing to fight to get Britain building.”

Theresa May also voiced her commitment to solving the housing crisis today, saying she would take “personal charge” of the government’s housing policy. However, she has already ruled out the possibility of building on the green belt.

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