With plans for an Autumn Budget cancelled, the future of the multi-year Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) due this Autumn is uncertain. Nevertheless, the NHC has used its CSR Representation to call on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to work with the North’s housing sector to deliver on his aims to rebuild, level-up and invest in people and places.
Setting out how housing in the North can help the Government deliver on its aims, the representation focuses on:
- Rebuild: securing economic recovery and contributing to levelling-up by readying the North’s social housing for net zero. The NHC calls for the Chancellor to confirm and immediately release the pledge £3.8bn social housing decarbonisation fund, bringing forward investment planned for later in the decade.
- Level-up: rebuilding capacity in local government in the North, to drive improvements in housing supply and quality. The NHC recommends the Chancellor announce a sustained real-terms increase in local government funding and a national centre of specialist housing and planning expertise, located in the North.
- Invest in people in places: making a visible difference by investing in new affordable homes, and infrastructure to support new homes of all tenures. The NHC calls for a further round of the Brownfield Land Fund, an end to arbitrary 80/20 restrictions on housing infrastructure funds, and expansion of the affordable homes programme towards the sector consensus on funding, ensuring the fund is open to every part of the country and offers tenure flexibility.
Commenting, NHC Chief Executive Tracy Harrison said, “The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has not yet been fully realised, but we know that it will not be experienced equally across every part of the country. Housing has a track record of delivering effective economic stimulus. Investing in housing growth and quality in the North will contribute to economic recovery, provide visible evidence of levelling-up and prepare the region for net zero.”
The Treasury has not announced a firm schedule for future fiscal events. The Chancellor has confirmed that delayed National Infrastructure Strategy will go ahead this Autumn; and we understand that there may be other spending announcements, potentially including a scaled-back one year spending round, in due course. Whenever the announcements come, NHC team will produce our usual on-the-day briefing to help members digest the key decisions and understand their implications for housing in the North.