Autumn Statement an opportunity to 'turn commitment into action' says CIH
The Autumn Statement is a chance for the government to turn its commitment to increase supply and affordability into focused action, CIH deputy chief executive Gavin Smart has said as we made our submission.
CIH’s submission calls for measures to significantly increase the number of affordable rented homes across the UK.
It also calls for increased funding for regeneration and the introduction of measures to improve standards in the private rented sector and tackle homelessness.
Gavin Smart, deputy chief executive of CIH, said: "We welcome the level of focus on housing by the government recently; in particular the acknowledgment that enhancing affordability will be central to solving our housing crisis.
"We believe the Autumn Statement is the opportunity to turn this commitment into action and build a substantial amount of new properties at affordable rents.
"This is the only way we can really begin to tackle our housing crisis and make sure people of all incomes have access to a home they can afford.
"We have suggested a number of focused measures we believe could achieve this without significant extra spending in our submission."
In its submission CIH calls on the government to do the following to boost house building:
• Introduce greater flexibility to the current Affordable Homes Programme, which allocates £4 billion mainly to shared ownership products and rent to buy, to allow for a larger number of rented homes, including social rent
• Restart the Affordable Homes Guarantee which was popular and would have been subscribed to if it had been extended beyond March 2016
• Reshape and extend the housing revenue account borrowing programme for local authorities and exempt them from the remaining stages of the scheme to cut local authority rents in return for extra investment in rented homes
• Rethink planning gain requirements to give local authorities more flexibility to meet housing need. Continuing to require affordable or social rent properties as part of planning conditions would help underpin building projects in the near term because it gives builders a guarantee of selling stock.
CIH is also calling for:
• An increase in investment in the government’s £140 million regneration loan fund of £300 million
• A new incentivised tax break initiative to improve standards in the private rented sector
• A new social impact bond to help prevent homelessness in the private rented sector