UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond has announced a slew of measures in his Autumn Statement to support the housing sector and the stakeholders concerned should welcome them, as they are aimed at resolving the housing crisis from the long-term perspective.

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Among the steps being taken by the government, the £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund is something that the property companies have to keep track. The fund will be used to unlock new land for house building in high demand areas in England. In addition, he announced £1.4bn fund to deliver 40,000 new affordable homes.

The Chancellor is well aware of the housing crisis, which is spiraling out of control. He acknowledged the same in his statement when he said "For too many the goal of homeownership remains out of reach." The challenge of providing affordable homes has been growing in magnitude for the government, as it is missing the targets while demand for homes is growing at a phenomenal rate.

Another important announcement made by the Chancellor is the Housing Whitepaper, as it will clearly spell out the initiatives of the government to tackle the housing crisis.

The £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund is aimed at building 100,000 new homes in high demand areas and obviously, London will be included in the list. It is a fact that the cost of acquiring a new home in London, a global property hotspot, is out of reach for many, especially first-time homebuyers and young working professionals. It is to be seen how the government utilizes this fund effectively to deliver new homes after developing the necessary infrastructure while the aspirations of home-buyers are high.

The £1.4bn fund in particular, will see Councils, housing associations and developers, partner to deliver more affordable homes by 2020-21. The process to utilize this fund has to be friendly towards the sector if the housing stakeholders have to meet the government’s target. The Chancellor’s announcement to relax restrictions on Government grant to allow a wider range of housing types is also a significant development.

The overall aim, according to the Chancellor, is a step-change to increase the supply of homes for sale and rent, to deliver a housing market that works for everyone. This resolve has to be taken into consideration as the government has received flak in the past for not addressing the housing crisis effectively. Nevertheless, the stakeholders of the housing sector will be watching closely, as Government rolls out these initiatives.

Source: Autumn Statment 2016

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