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Autumn Statement: £2.3bn for Housing Infrastructure Fund

Words: Laura Edgar
Housebuilding / iStock

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a new National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) that will see £2.3 billion invested into housing infrastructure in the 2016 Autumn Statement.

He also said communities secretary Sajid Javid would publish a housing white paper “in due course”.

The NPIF, according to the Autumn Statement document, aims to provide additional spending in areas that are key to boosting productivity, including housing, transport, digital communications and research and development.

Hammond said one of the biggest objections to new housing developments is the impact on local infrastructure. The £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will be used for a range of projects, including roads and water connections to support the construction of up to 100,000 new homes “in the areas where they are needed most”.

The Autumn Statement document also says the government will examine options to ensure that other government transport funding better supports housing growth.

In addition to this, Hammond announced that £1.4 billion would be used to provide 40,000 new affordable housing starts by 2020-21, including some for shared ownership and some for affordable rent.

In October, the government said it would pilot accelerated construction on public sector land, supported by up to £2 billion of funding. To meet this commitment, the document says the government will invest £1.7 billion by 2020-21 through the NPIF to speed up house building on public sector land in England through partnerships with private sector developers. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will received funding through the Barnett formula.

The government plans to fund a large-scale regional pilot of the Right to Buy scheme for housing association tenants, enabling more than 3,000 tenants to buy their own home.

The NPIF will also provide £27 million to develop an expressway connecting Oxford and Cambridge, as recommended by the National Infrastructure Commission. Earlier this year, the Department for Transport published a report into the expressway.

Last week, ahead of the statement, he promised a splurge in infrastructure spending of £1.1 billion to reduce congestion and upgrade local roads and public transport. It will see £220 million go towards tackling road safety and congestion on Highways England roads.

Responding to the housing measures outlined by the Chancellor, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:

"We have been clear that we need to build a lot more homes if we are to achieve a country that works for everyone. That is why we are announcing the biggest dedicated housing investment in a generation to get house building firing on all cylinders.

"With a doubling in capital spending, we are injecting the stimulus the market needs for a step change in the number of homes being built in the places people want to live - both in this Parliament and beyond."

The Autumn Statement can be found here.

Read industry reaction to the Housing Infrastructure Fund here.

Image credit | iStock