03 Dec 2020

Budget 2020 – CIH welcomes help for council house-building

CIH chief executive Gavin Smart said: “Back in January we identified a number of barriers that were stopping councils building badly needed new homes. The recent increase in Public Works Loan Board interest rates was one of those, and we urged government to reconsider its decision.

Gavin Smart  |  CIH chief executive

So we’re pleased that yesterday the Chancellor cut the cost of borrowing from the board by one per cent, specifically to encourage councils to get building. We know that many councils want to build and are now business planning over 30 years, like housing associations do, so any reduction in their long-term costs can only be helpful. It’s good to see that the government agrees with CIH and many others in the sector about the need to create an environment to allow councils to make robust, long-term plans, now they are free of the caps on borrowing. There are still other barriers to councils being able to play their full part in ending our national housing crisis. We look forward to seeing more details on the review of the planning process the Chancellor announced, along with the government’s response to its 2018 consultation on the use of receipts from homes sold under the Right to Buy which is also a barrier to councils building.