New Government housing priorities become clearer
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) welcomes the publication today of details of the coalition government’s priorities around housing.
The government has set an ambitious programme of far-reaching reforms anchored in a greater role for local government and communities, notably proposals to reform the planning system in securing the supply of much needed new market and affordable housing.
Sarah Webb, CIH Chief Executive, said: "We welcome the commitment to driving up environmental standards in new housing, but would urge the government not to lose focus on the vast majority of homes which have already been built. We also welcome the commitment to looking at exploring how better to support people to move into shared ownership and accumulate a stake in their rented home."
She continued: "We are particularly pleased to see the commitment to a review of the council house financing system, the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), and we hope that this builds on the considerable work carried out by the sector in developing the current consultation. We also look forward to working with Iain Duncan Smith’s department around its new programme of benefit and welfare reforms, recognising the key role that Housing Benefit plays in supporting millions of tenants to pay their rents in both the social and private sectors."
Sarah Webb concluded: "It is, however, clear that the programme has been and will continue to be shaped by spending constraints, with manifesto commitments around stamp duty cuts and empty homes funding changing to more open reviews. We now await the emergency budget on 22 June and will be working hard with the housing profession to secure political and financial commitments to housing in the lead up to the autumn spending review."