In his Autumn Statement, George Osborne confirmed that, after five fraught years, the British economy is finally inching closer to sustained growth.
However, the Chancellor warned that the days of austerity are not yet over; and, only continued measures to restrict Government spending will finally deliver the country out of the dark days caused by the financial crash of 2008.
In his statement, Mr. Osborne announced a number of measures that will impact either directly or indirectly on the private rented sector, including:
- The Private Rented Sector Guarantee Scheme will be extended until December 2016.
- The introduction a £90 million scheme to support private landlords in improving the energy efficiency of their properties, which will improve around 15,000 of the least energy efficient rental properties each year for 3 years.
- The Government will include REITs within the definition of ‘institutional investor’ from 1st April 2014.
- A review to be launched into the role local authorities play in supporting overall housing supply.
- Options will be explored for effectively kick-starting the regeneration of some of the UK’s worst housing estates through repayable loans.
- A £1 billion loan for a six-year investment programme to fund infrastructure to unlock new large housing sites, supporting the delivery of around 250,000 homes.
- Maintaining a £2 billion Local Growth Fund.
- Increasing local authority Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing limits by £150 million in 2015-16 and £150 million in 2016-17, allocated on a competitive basis and agreed by LEPs. This will be supplemented by funds from the sale of vacant, high-value social housing. This funding will support around 10,000 new affordable homes and will form part of the Local Growth Fund, available to local authorities who have a proposal agreed by their Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
- £110 million of Regional Growth Fund will be made available for the Local Growth Fund.
- £50 million of funding will be made available to LEPs through the Large Sites scheme.
- £70 million of the New Homes Bonus will be pooled within the London Local Enterprise Partnership, which is chaired by the Mayor of London. The New Homes Bonus will not be pooled to LEPs outside of London.
- Further support for Right to Buy by introducing Right to Buy agents to help buyers complete their home purchase, and provide £100 million to increase Right to Buy sales by improving applicants’ access to mortgage finance.
- A Right to Move for working households in social housing will be introduced with a consultation to be held on options during the spring.
- Read the RLA’s guide to the Autumn Statement 2013 (as kindly produced by The Public Affairs Company).
- ‘Rita 4 Rent: Planning your taxes after the Autumn Statement’ (6th December 2013)