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RIBA calls for 'radical action' to tackle housing crisis

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The RIBA has hit out at chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement claiming the coalition had not done enough to address the UK housing crisis

RIBA president Stephen Hodder has said that the government’s housing package announced as part of today’s (5 December) autumn statement does not go far enough to tackle the UK housing crisis.

He said: ‘Past efforts to stimulate the housing market through Help to Buy have failed to address chronic under-supply.

‘I’m concerned the package of announcements on housing in today’s Autumn Statement don’t go far enough. Radical action is needed if we are going to address the housing crisis. So instead of merely raising the amount councils can borrow to invest in new housing, the Chancellor should have scrapped the borrowing cap on Housing Revenue Account proceeds.’

In the chancellor’s autumn statement George Osborne said the government was committed to tackling the problem of housing supply and announced a series of measures aimed at boosting housebuilding.

The measures include a 6-year programme to fund infrasturucture unlocking sites for development, increasing the limit on local authority Housing Revenue Account borrowing, and providing further support for the government’s Right to Buy scheme.

The RIBA has also called for the government to provide greater incentives to local councils in order to bring forward development on public land.

Hodder added: ‘Government should provide greater incentives for councils to bring forward development forward themselves on public land and change rules on the disposal of public land to the private sector to ensure that developers increasingly bid for land based on quality rather than merely on cost. By fully exploiting the assets and powers government has at its disposal, we can ensure that we don’t just build more homes, but build the right type of homes’

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