Government to launch housing drive

Housebuilders have received a major boost in the Autumn Statement with the government stepping up its affordable housing drive.

Philip Hammond used his first fiscal statement since becoming Chancellor to announce a £1.4bn funding injection to build 40,000 new homes.

He also announced a new housing infrastructure fund of £2.3bn which will aim to deliver 100,000 new homes in high demand regions.

Hammond said: “For many the goal of home ownership remains out of reach”.

The government is also set to trial right-to-buy for housing association tenants with a regional pilot.

Stephen Smith, director, Legal & General Housing Partnerships, praised the moves.

He said: “The Chancellor’s pledge to add another £1.4bn into the housing market is desperately needed and will be welcomed by both the industry and hopeful first time buyers across the nation. This injection of capital is aimed at delivering 40,000 new affordable homes in England. Due to the serious shortage of properties, our country’s housing market has become increasingly selective and exclusive, pricing out many buyers who are unable to meet these overwhelming financial demands.

“This decision is a welcome first step in rebuilding the fragmented sector. However, this act alone will not solve our housing crisis. The additional funding will hopefully go some way towards helping the government achieve its build target of one million affordable homes by 2020 and will encourage a collaborative effort from the government and house building associations.”

The Chancellor added that the government is set to publish a housing white paper soon.

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