03 Mar 2021
Earlier today (3 March 2021), chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak addressed the House of Commons to deliver his 2021 Budget statement.
Responding to the announcements, James Prestwich, director of policy and external affairs at the Chartered Institute of Housing said:
"This Budget provided an opportunity for government to set out how it hopes to rebuild the country following the COVID-19 pandemic. Few would understate the scale of the challenge facing government and with many sectors of the economy hit particularly hard by coronavirus, we weren’t expecting this to be a ‘housing budget’. That said, we would have liked to have seen a much greater focus on a housing-led recovery, which we believe represents the best way for government to drive growth, help meet its ambitious climate change targets, create highly skilled jobs and alleviate the chronic housing shortage.
"On the detail, we believe there remains a clear need to sustain the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift beyond the six months announced by the chancellor, and we’ll continue to make the case to government that they should look to mitigate the risk of this ending at a time when the economy is likely to remain fragile. The £12bn for a UK infrastructure bank will be valuable, although this doesn’t address the vital action required to upgrade the energy-efficiency of Britain’s housing stock and help tackle the climate emergency. Investment for housing has been focused on helping people into home ownership with a guarantee for 95% mortgages that will be welcome for those able to afford that option, but will not assist the many households unable to make the step into homeownership or those living in the rented sector."