We were expecting the Chancellor to provide incentives for swift housebuilding and he has gone some way to achieving this with the £2.3 billion investment for local infrastructure in high demand areas to unlock land for 100,000 new homes.
He was keen to stress the importance of affordable housing, setting aside £1.4 billion for 40,000 affordable units across the country and confirming the GLA’s £3.15 billion for 90,000 affordable homes in London.
He highlighted the forthcoming Housing White Paper, which will include changes to planning policy to speed up the process for applicants, local authorities and the Local Plan process. This is the detail that the industry is focused on, and whilst we thought this could be released before Christmas, the use of the words ‘in due course’ don’t bode well for that timeframe.
One interesting take away was the fact that while home ownership is still an ambition for the government, with Right to Buy and Help to Buy both still available, Hammond was clear to profess a need for a mix of tenure types, including both ownership and rent, to make sure that housing worked for the many, not just the few.