A programme to build up to 165,000 new affordable homes over three years is an essential part of the government’s long-term economic plan, according to Keighley’s MP.

Kris Hopkins said housing associations, councils and house builders were now being invited to bid for government funding that, when combined with private investment, would deliver a £23 billion programme between 2015 and 2018.

He said this seeks to achieve a much better deal for taxpayers, while providing a boost to thousands of small businesses that supply building materials to developers.

“House building is an essential part of this government’s long-term economic plan,” he said. “That’s why we’ve designed an ambitious new scheme to build affordable homes at the fastest rate for 20 years.”