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Bromford’s executive director Lee Gibson has broadly welcomed Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget with a number of new measures announced for the housing sector.

The UK housing market was put at the heart of this afternoon’s Budget as the Chancellor reiterated his view that successive governments had failed to tackle the shortage of homes.

Housing headlines at-a-glance:  

  • £44bn capital funding for the housing market over the next five years to aid a net increase of 300,000 new homes annually by the mid-2020s. There was also confirmation of an extra £2bn investment in affordable housing, including for social rented homes
  • Stamp duty abolished immediately for first-time buyers on purchases up to £300,000 representing a tax cut for 95 per cent of people aiming to get onto the property ladder
  • Voluntary Right to Buy will proceed in the form of a regional Midlands pilot and will seek to establish how untried elements of VRTB will operate, including portability and one-for-one replacement, ahead of an intended national rollout of the scheme
  • Urgent land review announced to understand why there is such a gap between planning permissions granted and homes being built. An interim report is expected to be ready in time for the Spring statement in March 2018
  • Universal Credit funding package agreed to resolve some of the issues identified in operational delivery. The extra £1.5bn will be used to remove the seven-day waiting period for the benefits payments and make it easier for claimants to receive an advance
  • Three schemes to tackle homelessness were confirmed with a new task force challenged to eliminate rough sleeping by 2027. The Housing First pilots will run in the West Midlands, Liverpool and Manchester.

Lee Gibson, Bromford’s executive director of finance and new homes, greeted the Budget announcements with cautious optimism and said he was pleased that the government was increasingly focusing on efforts to address the UK’s housing shortage.

“We welcome today’s capital funding announcement by the Chancellor but clearly we look forward to delving into the detail once it becomes available to understand better how these 300,000 new homes will be delivered in practice,” he said.

“Due to our own land-led housebuilding programme, we took particular interest in the Chancellor’s remarks over how land is used for housing. Access to land is an issue of real importance and we would agree that once planning permission is in place the onus is on the builder to follow that through to delivery.

“Cutting stamp duty for first-time buyers is definitely the headline grabber and this is really good news for our customers looking into our shared ownership and outright sale products.”

Lee added: “Our strategic approach of developing the right relationship with customers through a coaching approach has put Bromford in the best position to support customers through the transition to Universal Credit, and indeed we have been preparing customers for these changes since 2015. However clearly there have been cases nationwide where the process hasn’t worked in practice and with another rollout coming in early 2018, we see the government’s additional funding as another positive step forward in addressing some of these issues.”

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