Tel: 0207 237 0374
Autumn Statement 2015
3). Accelerate housing supply and get more homes built by:
• bringing forward further reforms to the planning system, including establishing a new delivery test on local authorities, to ensure delivery against the number of homes set out in Local Plans
• supporting the availability of appropriate land for housing, including by releasing public sector land with capacity for 160,000 homes representing a more than 50% increase on the government's record in the last parliament
• ensuring the release of unused and previously undeveloped commercial, retail, and industrial land for Starter Homes, and supporting the regeneration of previously developed brownfield sites in the green belt by allowing them to be developed in the same way as other brownfield land, providing it contributes to Starter Homes, and subject to local consultation
• backing SME house builders, including by amending planning policy to support small sites, extending the £1 billion Builders' Finance Fund to 2020-21, and halving the length of the planning guarantee for minor developments
• offering £2.3 billion in loans to help regenerate large council estates and invest in infrastructure needed for major housing developments
• investing £310 million to deliver the first new garden city in nearly 100 years, at Ebbsfleet. This is part of a wider £700 million programme of regeneration at Barking Riverside, Brent Cross, Northstowe and Bicester Garden Town. Together these will support up to 60,000 new homes
Recent years have seen considerable spending and taxation changes designed to influence the residential market. The Autumn Statement continues the trend. As might be expected with the current government, this is very strongly slanted towards ownership rather than rental and indeed the section of the Autumn Statement was entitled, "Opportunities for home ownership: Five Point Plan". The five points are:
1). Deliver 400,000 affordable housing starts by 2020-21, focussed on low cost home ownership. This will include:
• 200,000 Starter Homes which will be sold at a 20% discount compared to market value to young first time buyers, with a £2.3 billion fund to support the delivery of up to 60,000 of these, in addition to those delivered through reform of the planning system
• 135,000 Help to Buy: Shared Ownership homes, which will allow more people to buy a share in their home and buy more shares over time, as they can afford to. The scheme will be open to all households earning less than £80,000 outside London and £90,000 in London, and will relax and remove previous restrictions such as local authorities' rights to set additional eligibility criteria
• 10,000 homes that will allow a tenant to save for a deposit while they rent. This will be in addition to 50,000 affordable homes from existing commitments at least 8,000 specialist homes for older people and people with disabilities
The government will remove constraints that prevent private sector organisations from participating in delivery of these programmes, including the constraints to bidding for government funding.
2). Extension the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants. This was a manifesto commitment but has been widely criticised.