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12.10.16

Government urged to ‘turn housing commitment into action’ in Autumn Statement

The government should fulfil its commitments on housing by including support for affordable housing in the Autumn Statement, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has stated.

Speaking at the Conservative party conference, communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid and chancellor Philip Hammond promised to fund up to 225,000 new houses.

In its submission to the Autumn Statement, the CIH said that the government should deliver more affordable housing by restarting the “tried and tested” Affordable Homes Guarantees programme and allowing housing associations taking part in the Affordable Homes programme more flexibility, including building more social rented housing.

Gavin Smart, deputy chief executive of CIH, said: “We welcome the level of focus on housing by the government recently; in particular the acknowledgment that enhancing affordability will be central to solving our housing crisis.

“We believe the Autumn Statement is the opportunity to turn this commitment into action and build a substantial amount of new properties at affordable rents. This is the only way we can really begin to tackle our housing crisis and make sure people of all incomes have access to a home they can afford.

“We have suggested a number of focused measures we believe could achieve this without significant extra spending in our submission.”

The submission said that councils should receive more support to build new homes, including restoring Housing Revenue Account income to its level before the cap on rent was introduced.

In addition, the CIH said that the government should increase loan funding for housing-led regeneration, offer tax incentives for private landlords that provide an accredited standard of accommodation, and establish a £15m social impact bond to help those at risk of homelessness stay in private accommodation.

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