The Chancellor presented his first Spring Statement to Parliament today.
Key announcements relating to housing and planning are:
Housing Growth Partnership Doubled
Partly addressing the issue of alternative actors in the housing market, the Housing Growth Partnership, providing financial support for small house builders, has been doubled to £220 million.
Housing Infrastrcuture Fund update
Following the announcement of the Housing and Infrastructure fund in the Autumn budget, the Chancellor reported 44 areas have come forward to bid for £4.1b available.
Following the announcement of £1.7billion for improving transport in English cities, the Chancellor reported half of this had been given to combined authorities and now inviting bids from cities across England for the remaining £840 million. The RTPI repeats its call for consideration to be given to be given to how well bidding areas are doing in terms of having a plan for housing and how much synergy there is between housing and transport policies.
£100m has been committed from the Land Remediation Fund to the West Midlands Combined Authority to help deliver 215,000 by 2030/31. The RTPI agrees that places should be rewarded with assistance if they can demonstrate commitments to ambitious planning, particularly for housing. Continued investment in planning authorities will be crucial to ensure that funding announcements are translated to delivery on the ground.
Funding for affordable housing in London
In parallel the Chancellor has offered £1.67 billion fund for affordable housing in London, which is estimated to provide 27,000 affordable housing end of 2021-22. The Mayor of London will undoubtedly welcome this announcement.
Harry Burchill, RTPI Policy Officer, said:
“Much more needs to be done to address the housing crisis but it is promising to see progress has been made on 2017 budget promises on housing and infrastructure. The announcement of funding for affordable housing in London is welcomed as is the announcement of the City Deal with the West Midlands Combined Authority, which aims to help deliver 215,000 homes by 2031.
“In order for these initiatives to be successful It is crucial that due consideration is given to joining up transport and housing priorities and that planning departments are well resourced enough to help deliver these ambitions sustainably.”
Full details of the Spring Statement are here.