On Wednesday 11th March the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered his Budget 2020 to the House of Commons, which included a number of important takeaways for the housing industry. In this blog we take a look at some of the key changes announced in closer detail.
More affordable housing
The government will extend the Affordable Homes Programme with a new multi-year cash boost of £12.1bn. The scheme uses funding distributed by Homes England and the Greater London Authority to support housing associations and developers in building more affordable housing. It was first introduced in 2016 and was due to end next year, prior to the Budget 2020 announcement.
Funding for new homes
The Chancellor also announced that £1.1bn of funding will be made available through the Housing Infrastructure Fund to build 70,000 new homes in areas of the country where the demand is highest. There was however, no mention of the government’s new First Homes initiative announced by the Housing Secretary last month to help first-time buyers get onto the housing ladder.
Redeveloping brownfield land
In a move welcomed by many, the government revealed that it will provide £400m for Mayoral Combined Authorities and local areas to build housing on brownfield land across the UK. It is expected that a further announcement on planning reform measures will follow shortly.
A new £650m fund will be created to help end rough sleeping. This will be split into £144m to go towards general support services (such as training), £262m for substance abuse recovery, and £237m to fund temporary accommodation for 6,000 people.
Removal of unsafe cladding
In 2018 the government pledged £400m to remove Aluminium Composite Material from social housing tower blocks following the Grenfell Tower disaster. Following this, the Budget 2020 includes an additional £1bn to remove unsafe combustible cladding from all private and social residential buildings over 18 metres tall.