BUDGET 2017: home building initiatives announced

BUDGET 2017: home building initiatives announced

Philip Hammond announced various schemes designed to boost house building in the UK.

The Chancellor said: “Over the next five years we will commit a total of at least £44 billion of capital funding, loans and guarantees to support our housing market. To boost the supply of skills, resources, and building land. And to create the financial incentives necessary to deliver 300,000 net additional homes a year on average by the mid-2020s. The biggest annual increase in housing supply since 1970.

“New money for the Home Builders Fund to get SME housebuilders building again. A £630 million small sites fund to unstick the delivery of 40,000 homes. A further £2.7bn to more than double the Housing Infrastructure Fund. £400 million for estate regeneration.

“A £1.1 billion fund to unlock strategic sites, including new settlements and urban regeneration schemes. A lifting of HRA caps for councils in high demand areas to get them building again. And £8 billion of new financial guarantees to support private housebuilding and the purpose-built private rented sector.

“And because we need a workforce to build these new homes. We are providing an additional £34m to develop construction skills across the country.”

He also announced plans to look at planning permission issues around the country.

Benson Hersch, CEO of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL), said: “The Chancellor’s announcement that the Government will facilitate the building of 300,000 new homes a year, is welcome but ultimately we have heard promise after promise from successive Governments on house building, to little effect. Without a significant increase in social housing this is a pipe dream, especially as current figures include permitted development (offices to flats for example) rather than ‘ground up’ building.

“For many, a house to call their own remains out of reach as the deposits required are still too high. Recent analysis undertaken by the ASTL of our membership shows that bridging loans are increasingly popular forms of finance for people looking to purchase their own homes. Such a trend demonstrates how alternative forms of finance are increasingly providing the solutions where Government should be and could be bridging the gap.”