New spending on housing projects totalling £3.7bn in England has been announced by the chancellor.
Philip Hammond said £2.3bn would be spent on infrastructure – such as roads – related to housing developments. The chancellor said the money would support the construction of 100,000 new houses and amount to a ‘step-change’ in help for the industry.
The government also agreed to spend an extra £1.4bn on more affordable homes in England.
Local authorities will be able to bid for the money under one of three schemes: Shared Ownership, Affordable Rent or Rent to Buy.
It is estimated that it could result in around 40,000 more affordable homes being built.
Currently, there is £4.7bn being spent on grants for affordable housing over the next five years, and the money will help top up what is currently being spent.
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The National Housing Federation (NHF) said that they were delighted with the announcement.
David Orr, chief executive of the NHF said: “Increased flexibility and extra investment will give housing associations the freedom and confidence to build even more affordable homes, more quickly, across the country,”
Back in November, official figures showed that the number of affordable homes being built had sunk to its lowest level for 24 years in England.
In the year to March 2016, only 32,110 affordable homes were completed, 52% less than the previous year. However, recent figures suggest that the overall housing supply actually increased by just over 10% in the same year.
Philip Hammond also announced a ‘large-scale’ pilot of the right to buy scheme for housing association tenants. He said that it could involve over 3,000 tenants being allowed to buy the homes that they are currently renting.
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