Section: Housing Finance

Spending on new homes plummets while housing benefit soars

Posted 21.03.18
Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH): Article link

Government investment in building new homes has plummeted while spending on housing benefit has soared, new analysis from the CIH has revealed.

In 2015/16, just 4.3% of the government housing subsidy went towards measures to boost new building - down from 82% in 1975/76 - while 95.7% went on housing benefit and support for mortgage interest (up from just 18% 40 years earlier).

The vast majority went to housing benefit, with support for mortgage interest accounting for around £200 million.

The extent of the shift is revealed in the UK Housing Review 2018, which shows that investment in social housing has dropped from £13.7 billion in 1979/80 to 5.1 billion in 2016/17, in today's prices.

The review shows that 79% of the government's £53 billion budget up to 2020/21 (including loans and guarantees) is directed towards private housing, with just 21% going to affordable housing.

It also reveals that 1.97 million homes have been sold through right to buy across England between 1980 and 2016/17.

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Spring statement 'missed opportunity' to get us building more

Posted 14.03.18
Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH): Article link

Melanie Rees, CIH's Head of Policy, said the balance of housing funding needs to be addressed after an uneventful Spring statement for housing.

She said:

"This is another missed opportunity to get us closer to building the homes that we need.

"Unless we quickly start to build more of the right homes in the right places then the next generation will have absolutely no chance of getting access to a home that they can afford.

"There are measures that could be taken now to address this critical situation that would not require additional borrowing.

"At present just 21% of funding earmarked for housing until 2021 will directly fund affordable housing. This simply does not reflect the balance of housing need across the country and the government must seriously address this imbalance."

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Housing budget allocated but not used totals £1.1 billion

Posted 04.03.18
HuffPost UK: Article link

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid is facing fresh questions after it emerged that his department failed to spend huge sums of affordable housing cash for two years running.

HuffPost UK revealed this week that £72 million was returned to the Treasury which was allocated for affordable housing this year.

Failure to spend £220 million on building affordable homes the previous year has now been revealed.

Sajid Javid's department also surrendered £379 million for the Government's flagship Starter Homes schemes over the course of two years.

The total amount of the housing budget allocated but not used by the Government now stands at £1.1 billion.


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Reporting on March 2018

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