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Budget 2013: RIBA demands fresh housing surge

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RIBA president Angela Brady has called on the government to fund the delivery of 300,000 new homes every year

In a statement ahead of chancellor George Osborne’s budget, the institute has demanded urgent measures to ‘get UK building in order’.

The chancellor is expected to boost housebuilding in the upcoming budget amid pressure on the government to stimulate economic activity as fears of a potential triple dip recession grow. New proposals could include expanding NewBuy to include older properties, according to the Financial Times.

The RIBA’s wish list includes a new wave of capital investment in infrastructure, public buildings and housing aimed at delivering 300,000 high quality new homes each year.

Further proposals include dropping VAT on refurbishments from 20 per cent to 5 per cent and immediately kick-starting work on the next generation of eco-friendly garden cities.

Brady has also demanded a comprehensive inventory of all publicly-owned land and a promise sites sold by government to developers will be developed though design competitions. New funding for local authority planning and housing delivery teams to challenge a ‘chronic skills shortages holding back development’ also featured on the list.

RIBA president Angela Brady said: ‘After 5 years of economic turmoil, it is time for the government to use this budget to do more to support the UK economy and construction industry by getting this country building. Every £1 of investment in construction activity generates £2.84 of economic activity - the construction industry is the place to start if the Government is truly committed to generating growth and jobs in this country.’

She added: ‘We are in the grip of the worst housing crisis for decades but only building a tiny proportion of the homes needed to meet demand; the government must use the 2013 budget to deliver a minimum of 300,000 desperately-needed affordable new homes in the next year.

‘It is imperative also that the right incentives and capacity are built into the system to ensure that we deliver development and growth that is truly sustainable and leads to the best social outcomes. Short-sighted policies now will cost us dear in the future.’

The chancellor will deliver his budget to the House of Commons on Wednesday 20 March.


The RIBA’s budget 2013 wishlist

  • Increase capital investment in new infrastructure, public buildings and housing to kickstart economic growth. Provide the mechanisms to finance the delivery of 300,000 high quality new homes each year and immediate action to start building the next generation of eco-friendly garden cities
  • Create and promote a comprehensive inventory of all publicly-owned land, and detail the sites that can be sold to developers in order to attract innovative development and create local growth. Sites sold to developers by Government should be developed though design and community-led competitions, ensuring long-term value is prioritised ahead of short-term revenue
  • Reduce the rate of VAT on building refurbishment from 20% to 5% and adapt the existing 0% VAT rate for new-build to incentivise high quality sustainable homes. This new ‘Payment by Results’ 0% VAT rate for new-build would be applied only where the scheme meets a specified level above building regulations and an increased 5% rate would be applied for those that fail to meet high sustainability standard
  • Additional funding to bolster local authority planning and housing delivery teams, to ensure councils have the skills and expertise to help deliver sustainable growth in construction and address the chronic skills shortages that are holding back development.




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