ARK’s Autumn Statement – housing at-a-glance

The Chancellors Autumn statement pulled very few rabbits out of the proverbial hat but did emphasise the importance of housing to the country and to the economy. We tweeted key points throughout the speech and have produced the following document to highlight what we think are the most important announcements for the sector. So, kicking off his speech at exactly 12.39 housing made it in at just after 1pm, 13:08 to be precise.

autumn statement

13:08 – The Chancellor announces a £1.4bn grant to build £40,000 more homes. Flexibility is the key though, restrictions are lifted on what types of homes can be built, opening the way to affordable rented products once more. (As predicted by ARK’s Ian Winslet in his recent blog)

13:08 – To support this there is an additional £2.3bn infrastructure funding for housing in high demand areas.

13:10 – Announcement of £4.8bn for a National Affordable Housing Programme, of which, £3.5bn will go to London for 90,000 homes. David Orr, at the NHF Tweets, “a genuine and important start to tackling our housing crisis” he said. If he’s happy we probably should be too.

13:11 – Right-to-Buy pilots get extended for housing association tenants, falling short of the full rollout in the Conservative manifesto just over a year ago. Buying some thinking time maybe?

13:12 – For those who run letting agencies letting fees to tenants are banned. Yes banned. Landlords get a choice of agency, tenants don’t. So, charges passed onto landlords equals more competition in the market place as agencies sharpen their pencils.

13:13 – £7.6m for repairs to Wentworth Woodhouse, on the outskirts of Rotherham. The Chancellor tells us the inspiration for Pemberley in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

A little churlish maybe, but for those timing these things, Wentworth Woodhouse was covered for 2 minutes, a minute-thirty longer than the £48 Billion. Just saying.