Autumn statement 2013

Autumn statement won’t cure the housing crisis

The autumn statement promises to “take further action to increase housing supply and support home ownership.”  The snag is that even if what is promised is fully delivered it will be nowhere near enough to cure the UK’s entrenched housing crisis.

Allowing local authorities to borrow more to build housing is always welcome in principle, but council finances are too squeezed to allow them to do much, and a further push on Right to Buy simply diminishes the social housing stock. The other proposals are to give grants to private builders to get construction started again on sites where the developers do not feel that they will make enough financial returns. This might help, but it probably won’t be a very good use of public money. We would prefer to see this cash spent directly on social housing, which is where the crisis cuts deepest.

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