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Autumn statement: Osborne expected to pledge billions for housebuilding

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Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce a boost of £7 billion to build homes

In the Autumn Statement, which will be given later today (25 November), the chancellor will set out plans to build more than 400,000 affordable homes across England.

According to the BBC, Osborne is set to announce that £2.3 billion will be paid to developers to build starter homes for first-time buyers, while a further £4 billion will be used as a catalyst to build 135,000 shared ownership homes.

He is also expected to pledge £400 million to build 8,000 homes for older people and those with disabilities.

The chancellor had previously announced that the government plans to sell outdated city centre prisons and use the sites for housing, and this is expected to be confirmed in today’s combined Autumn Statement and Spending Review.

Comment

Jeremy Blackburn, RICS Head of Policy:
‘A push towards affordable home ownership should not come at the expense of affordable homes for rent. If cities such as London are to thrive, we need to ensure that housing can be provided for all of its workforce -  home ownership can only go so far and even shared ownership may prove too expensive for some.  We would like to see the Chancellor incentivise affordable homes for rent in both public and private sectors.

‘Government must fire up councils, public bodies and housing associations to build across all residential sectors  in order to deliver the functioning housing market that we need – and deserve - as a society. 

‘George Osborne is essentially subsidising one sector of the housing market over all others, in an area that already benefits from significant Government funding.  Although the announcement is on the face of it encouraging for certain sectors, the devil will be in the detail.’

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