Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his Autumn Statement to
Parliament on 23 November.
The UK economy is forecast to be the fastest growing major
economy in 2016, however the Office for Budget Responsibility has
forecast growth to slow and inflation to rise over the next two
years. Some of the key headline announcements that will impact on
tenants, stock retained councils and housing generally include:
Following the initial small-scale pilot of the voluntary Right
to Buy for housing associations tenants with five housing
associations, the government will launch an expanded regional pilot
More information on the timing for the expanded pilot will
follow once the detail has been developed with the housing
The cost of the expanded pilot (£250m over four years) will be
funded by the Exchequer. The introduction of the expanded pilot
will give DCLG more time to consider how the legislation on Higher
Value Assets (HVA) will be implemented under the framework set out
in the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
The fund will be used for projects such as roads and water
connections that will support the construction of up to 100,000 new
homes in the areas where they are needed most.
On top of that, £1.4 billion will be used to provide 40,000 new
affordable homes, including some for shared ownership and some for
affordable rent. And another £1.7 billion will be used to speed up
the construction of new homes on public sector land.
In Universal Credit, as a person's income increases, their
benefit payments are gradually reduced. The taper rate calculates
the reduction in benefits as a person's salary increases.
Currently, for every £1 earned after tax above an income
threshold, a person receiving Universal Credit has their benefit
award reduced by 65p and keeps 35p. They will now keep 37p for
every £1, from April 2017.
The government say three million households will benefit from
- a single parent with one child and not receiving support with
their housing costs earning £15,000 a year will benefit by £170 a
- a couple with two children receiving support with their housing
costs, where one parent earns £30,000 a year, will benefit by £425
- a disabled person receiving support with their housing costs
and earning £12,000 a year will benefit by £180 a year
Letting agents will no longer be able to charge renters fees,
for example when they sign a new tenancy agreement. This will stop
tenants being hit with fees averaging £223 per tenancy.
The government will consult on this in due course.
ARCH Policy Adviser Matthew Warburton has produced a
briefing paper on the housing implications of the Autumn
Statement for ARCH members.