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The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.

 

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06/2016 The Budget: Implications for Housing 18/03/2016

Key Points

 

  • Chancellor George Osborne announced the 2016 Budget on 16 March.
  • The economy is predicted to grow more slowly than anticipated last autumn, and further savings will be made in public expenditure of £3.5 billion by 2019/20.
  • A new Lifetime ISA will enable adults under 40 to save up to £4000 a year towards purchase of a first home or retirement with a 25% bonus from Government.
  • A new Help to Save scheme will enable working people in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit to save up to £50 a month to receive a Government bonus of 50% payable after 2 years with an option to save for a further two years.
  • A Starter Homes Prospectus invites councils to bid for £1.2 billion towards remediation of Brownfield Land to facilitate the provision of Starter Homes.
  • £250 million capital spending on affordable housing has been brought forward to 2017/18 and 2018/19.
  • Two initiatives were announced to enable the release of more public sector land, including local authority land, for housing and regeneration.
  • To facilitate the development of garden towns and cities, the Government plans legislation to enable local authorities to work together, consultation on further CPO reforms and planning and financial flexibilities for councils proposing to provide significant numbers of additional homes.
  • £115 million has been allocated to support initiatives to tackle homelessness.
  • The increase in Stamp Duty Land Tax on purchase of additional homes (including buy-to-let), announced in the Autumn Statement, has been confirmed and will come into effect on 1 April.
  • Greater Manchester will get new powers over criminal justice, and new devolution deals were announced for East Anglia, the West of England and Greater Lincolnshire.

 

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Savings

 

A new Lifetime ISA will enable adults under 40 to save up to £4000 a year with a 25% bonus from Government payable annually. Funds can be withdrawn at any time, but the bonus can only be used towards the purchase of a first home costing up to £450,000 or after age 60 for use in retirement.

 

A new Help to Save scheme will be available for adults receiving Working Tax Credit, or with a minimum income equivalent to 16 hours a week on the National Living Wage and receiving Universal Credit. After two years, the Government will provide a bonus of 50% on savings up to £50 a month. Savers will have the option of leaving their savings for a further two years and receiving a second bonus. Funds may be used for any purpose.

 

Planning and Land

 

DCLG has published "Starter Homes: Unlocking the Land Fund", a prospectus that invites expressions of Interest from local authorities outside of London to form partnerships with the Homes and Communities Agency to use a £1.2 billion Brownfield Land Fund to acquire, assemble and de-risk land for starter home developments which can be built out by developers by 2020. The Fund will be replenished from the sale of the improved land to developers.

 

DCLG has also published "Locally-led Garden Villages, Towns and Cities", which includes two invitations for expressions of interest. The first, with a deadline of 31 July 2016, is for new 'garden villages' of between 1,500 to 10,000 homes. The Government proposes to support up to 12 new garden village proposals. The second invitation is for proposals for new garden towns and cities of more than 10,000 homes, which will be additional to the proposals currently supported at Ebbsfleet, Bicester, Basingstoke, Didcot, and in North Northamptonshire and North Essex. To facilitate these initiatives, the Government plans legislation to enable local authorities to work together, consultation on further CPO reforms and planning and financial flexibilities for councils proposing to provide significant numbers of additional homes.

 

The Chancellor announced that "for the first time ever Local Authorities are collaborating with central government on a local government land ambition, working with their partners to release land with the capacity for at least 160,000 homes, helping to support the government's policy on estates regeneration". He also said that local authorities will work in partnership with Network Rail and the HCA to provide land around stations for housing, commercial development and regeneration. More detail will be available shortly.

 

Homelessness

 

£115 million has been allocated to support initiatives to tackle homelessness, as follows:

 

  • £100 million to deliver low-cost 'second stage' accommodation for rough sleepers leaving hostel accommodation and domestic abuse victims and their families moving on from refuges, aiming to provide at least 2,000 places to enable independent living for vulnerable households and individuals.
  • £10 million over two years to support and scale up innovative ways to prevent and reduce rough sleeping, particularly in London.
  • Increases the funding for the Rough Sleeping Social Impact Bond announced in the Autumn Statement from £5 million to £10 million, to support innovative ways of tackling entrenched rough sleeping.

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