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Jane Duncan: ‘The Budget fails to tackle the housing crisis’


RIBA president Jane Duncan has hit out at George Osborne’s Budget statement saying it fails to answer questions about how the government plans to address the housing crisis

The RIBA president urged the chancellor to give greater borrowing powers to local councils in order for them to invest in housing. 

Her comments followed yesterday’s (17 March) Budget announcement in which Osborne revealed further plans for devolution and investment in infrastructure but said very little about tackling the current housing crisis. 

Duncan, said: ‘There are too many unanswered questions about how the government plans to address the housing crisis affecting every part of the country. Councils need to be given greater borrowing powers to invest in new housing. 

‘The continued focus on home ownership means that there are huge parts of the market where private developers and housing associations either can’t or won’t invest.’ 

Duncan welcomed the changes to business rates which she said would be well received by small practices. In a boost for small firms, the threshold for business rate relief is set to rise from £6,000 to £15,000. 

‘The changes to the rules on business rates and national insurance contributions will be well received by RIBA architects working on their own or at smaller practices’, said Duncan. 

She also added that Osborne’s plans for further devolution could offer opportunities for architects. 

Duncan commented: ‘Planned investments to infrastructure projects in London and the North of England are a welcome boost to capacity. Further devolution deals will be an ideal opportunity for architects to work with communities on housing, planning and transport issues that ensure we get more high quality affordable homes for everyone.’





Readers' comments (2)

  • The Chancellor has roughly the same amount of pull to solve the 'housing crisis' as King Canute had to slow the ebb and flow of the tide. Ditto the RIBA. I posted this 'Housing for Dummies' rant elsewhere yesterday. I'm now off to lie in a darkened room...

    "Builders supply homes, not politicians. The units are designed to attract the highest price, not for ease of living. The number of units builders construct is determined by their business plans, not by politicians. The number of ill-affordable homes in any development is determined by how few the builder thinks they can get away with when determining how much to bid for the site. Why anyone things developers are going to act any differently remains a deep mystery."

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  • For Peter Bill (in his darkened room):

    So how do you suppose the Mayor, and his TfL team, think that their collection of framework developers are going to act in the development of the spare public land fringing the surface routes of the underground network?

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