Hammond launches new £3bn affordable homes guarantee scheme
Philip Hammond has announced a new £3bn affordable homes guarantee scheme, which he claimed would lead to the delivery of 30,000 new affordable homes across the country.
Giving his Spring Statement to MPs today the chancellor (pictured giving his speech today) also confirmed £717m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund would go towards building 37,000 new homes in west London, Cheshire, Didcot and Cambridge.
Responding to the guarantee scheme announcement, Paul Hackett, chair of the G15 and chief executive of Optivo housing association, said: “Brexit uncertainty and the deepening UK housing crisis underlines the need for longer-term funding for affordable housing.
“The new funding announced today for the affordable homes guarantee programme is welcome, but our sector’s cross-subsidy model of delivering affordable housing is broken.
“A new funding deal is imperative if the government wants to hit its target of 300,000 new homes a year.”
Hackett said the G15 would be calling for longer-term, ‘infrastructure’ style funding for affordable housing to help tackle the country’s housing crisis, ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review planned for later this year.
Hammond told MPs the UK had built 220,000 new homes last year, the highest total in all but one of the past 31 years.
He said the abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers had helped nearly a quarter of a million people, and the proportion of first-time buyers securing a home was now running at more than 50% for the first time.
In an inevitable nod to Brexit, Hammond said that leaving with a deal in place and an orderly transition would present the country with a “deal dividend”.
He said a deal was achievable, despite the prime minister’s crashing defeat yesterday and with just over two weeks to go before the UK departs the EU.
But he warned that without a deal the risks to the domestic economy would be severe, with short and long-term damage likely to include lower productivity, rising unemployment, higher prices and lower wages.“
Article & Image Source: Housing Today