Laura Sharman 25 November 2015

Spending Review: Osborne doubles housing budget

The country’s ‘biggest affordable house building programme since the 1970s’ has been unveiled in today’s spending review by the chancellor.

George Osborne said the Government was doubling the annual housing budget to £2bn a year, helping to deliver 400,000 affordable new homes by the end of the decade.

He also confirmed that Right to Buy was being extended to housing association tenants, with a new pilot involving five housing associations starting from midnight tonight.

Mr Osborne’s housing announcements also included funding for 135,000 help-to-buy shared ownership homes for households earning less than £80,000, or £90,000 in London.

He also outlined changes to the planning system to accelerate housing supply: ‘We are announcing further reforms to our planning system so it delivers more homes more quickly,' he said.

‘We’re releasing public land suitable for 160,000 homes and re-designating unused commercial land for Starter Homes.

‘We’ll extend loans for small builders, regenerate more run-down estates and invest over £300m in delivering at Ebbsfleet the first garden city in nearly a century.’

The chancellor said that new rates of stamp duty - which will be 3% higher for buy-to-lets and second homes - would be introduced from next April to fund new house building. The new levy is expected to raise nearly a billion pounds by 2021.

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