Our Director Chris Seeley sets out below our brief highlights of the Chancellor’s recent announcements as they pertain to social and affordable housing:
This year’s big announcement appeared to relate to the National Home Building Fund (NHBF) of £7.1bn, however, a closer examination by a number of experts suggest that £4.8bn of this spending had previously been announced leaving £2.3bn to be spent. Inside Housing suggests this will be spent on loan finance to big and small builders. We understand that £100m will be made available to authorities that support house building.
We were pleased to see a further contribution to the funding of Homelessness and Rough Sleeping prevention initiatives of £151m. The continuance and increase in funding is making a difference and has to be welcomed. The Government seem to “get it” and although more is needed the near 60% increase in funding between 20/21 and 21/22 is most welcome.
The Chancellor confirmed that a further £53bn will be allocated to support the Help to Buy scheme until it’s current end date of March 2023. Although no announcement was made beyond that date it is expected that a revised scheme will be announced at a later date.
We understand that the Government plans to spend £60m on the retrofitting of social housing next year. That is good to have and will allow pilot schemes but comes nowhere near the anticipated cost to the sector of £104bn (an average cost of decarbonisation per social home of £20,742). The £320m allocated to the Green Homes Grant scheme which provides homeowners and landlords with vouchers to help carry out energy improvements in their homes is also welcome but not game-changing.