Hammond threatens to “hire builders” to build on green belt to speed housing construction

“MINISTERS could hire builders to erect thousands of homes under Budget plans being pondered by the Chancellor.

The Government would free up public land and get construction firms to use it.

Homes could then hit the market right away rather than wait for firms to release them when prices rise, Sun columnist James Forsyth reveals today.

Philip Hammond is also said to be ready to take on Tory backbenchers by loosening curbs on green belt development in a bid to solve the housing crisis.

One insider indicated No10 may back the move despite the likely fury of Tories across the South East.

The insider said: “The PM has moved on this issue but is not entirely there yet.”

Theresa May pledged to take “personal ownership” of the drive to speed up housebuilding during No10 talks with the industry earlier this week.

Before the 2015 election, Tories pledged one million new English homes by 2020 and 500,000 more in the following two years.

Ministers accept they face defeat at the next election in 2022 unless they sort out the housing crisis. Experts warn that an entire generation cannot get on the property ladder.

And charity Shelter said resulting rent rises were seeing poorer Brits cut back on food, clothes and kids’ toys.”