State funding for more housing projects, extra council housing and extended stamp duty holiday all on the chancellor’s agenda for Wednesday’s Budget
The government is expected to provide money for sites where work has stopped because of funding problems and for building council houses. The stamp duty ‘holiday’ on buying housing is also expected to be extended.
An announcement is also expected on a scheme to turn unsold homes into social housing.
Darling is also expected to reveal a rise in public borrowing of as much as £160 billion as tax revenues fall due to the recession.
There is no indication yet whether any of the £1 billion has been earmarked for the beleaguered LSC framework.
RIBA welcomed the announcement, issuing a statement to the AJ saying: ‘The proposed £1billion boost to move housing projects along should be very worthwhile particularly if this initiates a start up in new houses being built. Architects working on both private and social housing have seen a huge drop-off in their work and anything the Government can do to help kick-start this would hugely help that large number of practices.
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Darling’s £1 billion package
• State funding to take a stake in housing projects where work has stalled. Government money may also be used to finance infrastructure such as roads
• A fund to build thousands of council houses
• Extending stamp duty holiday on properties over £175,000 until the end of 2009
• Financial help where houses have been built but cannot be sold because of falling prices. This could be through a combination of joint equity schemes and by converting houses intended for the private sector into social housing
• Extra cash for the mortgage rescue scheme, as evidence that rising unemployment is threatening more people with repossession than anticipated