Here is See Media’s round-up of the announcements in today’s Autumn Budget, delivered by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond:
*The speech can be read in full, here
- A further £28m for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, for mental health and counselling services, regeneration for surrounding areas and a new community space.
- All local authorities and housing associations must carry out any identified safety works as soon as possible. If a local authority cannot afford to do the work, they are urged to contact the government. “We won’t allow financial constraints to get in the way of essential fire safety work,” said Hammond.
- Hammond stated that increasing the supply of new homes was a, “complex challenge, and there is no single magic bullet”.
- A long-term goal to build 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.
- Lifting of Housing Revenue Account caps in high demand areas, with the aim of getting local authorities building again.
- £44bn in government support, including loan guarantees, to boost construction skills.
- New money for a Home Builders Fund.
- The Chancellor said there was a need to boost the SME house building sector. Otherwise, “We will remain dependent on the major housebuilders that dominate the industry,” he said.
- Another £2.7bn for the Housing Infrastructure Fund.
- Long term, looking beyond this Parliament, the government is focusing on the development of new towns. Hammond said that development corporations, delivered through public private partnerships, will attract investment from around the world, which will lead to the development of up to one million homes by 2050.
- The government is supporting an ‘ambitious’ plan to deliver 100,000 homes in Oxfordshire by 2030.
- A focus on urban areas “where most people want to live”.
- Building high quality, high density homes in city centres around major transport hubs.
- Councils in high demand areas to prioritise first time buyers and private renters.
- Hammond said that there is a gap between the number of planning permissions granted and the number of homes built. He announced an urgent review by Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset, with an interim report due to be published in time for the spring statement next year.
- £1.1bn to unlock strategic sites.
FIRST TIME BUYERS:
- Hammond abolished stamp duty for first time buyers on homes up to the value of £300,000.
- Stamp duty also abolished on the first £300,000 of the purchase price of properties up to the value of £500,000.
- Hammond said this was a stamp duty cut for 95% of first time buyers.
- £400m more for estate regeneration.
- Hammond announced a £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund, half of which will go the six UK cities with metro mayors.
- He also announced a devolution deal with Andy Street, the West Midlands metro mayor.
- A 100% council tax premium on empty homes.
PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR:
- There will be a consultation on the barriers to longer tenancies in the private rented sector.
- There will be three new pilots for Housing First in the West Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool, which will cost £28m.
- A Homelessness Taskforce will halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it by 2027, Hammond stated.
- The Homes and Communities Agency is to become Homes England, and it will have an expanded remit.
- A £1.5bn programme to address “genuine concerns with Universal Credit”.
- The removal of the seven-day waiting period for new claimants. This means their entitlement will start on the day of their claim.
- New claimants on housing benefit will continue to receive housing benefit payments for two weeks after transitioning to Universal Credit in order to help them to pay their rent.
- Further details will be made in a statement to the House of Commons tomorrow, Hammond said.
- Targeted Affordability Funding will be made available for Local Housing Allowance claimants in the private rented sector who live in areas where rents exceed benefit rates. Another £125m will be added to the fund over the next two years. Hammond said this will benefit 140,000 people.
NATIONAL LIVING WAGE:
- From April, there will be arise of 4.4%, from £7.50 an hour to £7.83.