Autumn Statement: Extra £3.7bn for housing projects

By Brian Milligan
Personal Finance reporter

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New spending on housing projects totalling £3.7bn in England has been announced by the chancellor.

Philip Hammond said £2.3bn would be spent on infrastructure - such as roads - related to housing developments.

The chancellor said the money would support the building of up to 100,000 new homes, and amounted to a "step-change" in help for the industry.

The government has also agreed to spend an extra £1.4bn on affordable housing in England.

Local authorities will be able to bid for the money under one of three existing schemes : Affordable Rent, Shared Ownership or Rent to Buy.

The Treasury estimates that could lead to 40,000 more affordable homes being built.

The money will top up the existing £4.7bn being spent on grants for affordable housing over the next five years.

Housing supply

The National Housing Federation (NHF), which represents Housing Associations, said it was delighted with the announcement.

"Increased flexibility and extra investment will give housing associations the freedom and confidence to build even more affordable homes, more quickly, across the country," said David Orr, chief executive of the NHF.

Earlier this month, official figures indicated that the number of affordable homes being built in England had sunk to its lowest level in 24 years.

In the year to March 2016, just 32,110 affordable homes were completed, a 52% fall on the previous year.

However, recent figures suggest that the overall housing supply increased by 11% in the year to April 2016.

The chancellor also announced a "large-scale" pilot of the right to buy scheme for housing association tenants.

He said it would involve 3,000 tenants being allowed to buy the homes they currently rent.

A white paper on house-building will follow "in due course".

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