The Chancellor focused on the Government’s determination to support the housing market in his Spring Statement 2019 speech, making a commitment to unlocking productivity growth and making housing more affordable.
At the despatch box, Philip Hammond disclosed a string of investments in UK housing projects up and down the country that will be encouraging news to small and medium-sized housebuilders and contractors.
He confirmed that £717 million of the £5.5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund had been ring-fenced to build up to 37,000 new homes at strategic sites including Old Oak Common in North-West London, Cheshire and the Oxford-Cambridge Arc to unlock these areas of significant economic potential.
In addition, £260 million was announced to support the Borderlands Growth Deal. When combined with the £102 million confirmed from the Housing Infrastructure Fund for Carlisle, this means that £362 million of Government funding is being invested into the Borderlands region. Negotiations are also progressing on future deals for mid-Wales and Derry/Londonderry.
There will also be fresh investment in new affordable homes, with the Government providing a £3 billion guarantee of borrowing by local housing associations throughout England to underpin the construction of 30,000 properties.
In the Autumn Budget 2017, the Chancellor laid out a comprehensive plan to increase the UK’s housing supply by the end of this Parliament to 300,000 new homes per year; its highest level since 1970. Today’s Spring Statement 2019 sets out the Government’s next steps to reach this goal.
The Government has also published a consultation on Infrastructure Finance, to determine how it can best facilitate private infrastructure investment amid the UK’s changing future relationship with the European Investment Bank.