Extension of affordable homes guarantee scheme and low borrowing rates for councils also confirmed

Hunt has announced a £110m fund to help local authorities offset nutrient pollution

The chancellor, in the autumn statement today, said the funding would support councils deliver ‘high quality’ schemes which he said could unblock 40,000 stalled homes.


The move is the latest attempt by the government to tackle the impact of nutrient pollution rules which the Home Builders Federation (HBF) has said is holding up more than 150,000 homes.

An attempt earlier this year to amend the levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to solve the issue was blocked by Labour peers.

Responding to the announcement, a spokesperson for the HBF said the money for mitigation schemes is “welcome” but is only a ‘partial fix’.

He said: “There are 150,000 homes on hold and so a solution to unblock 40,000 over the coming years, via still to be finalised schemes, is only a sticking plaster on a gaping wound.”

Hunt also announced an extension of the affordable homes guarantee scheme. The initial £3bn scheme which offers government-guaranteed low-cost loans to housing associations to build homes or improve existing stock, will be extended by another £3bn. The government said this allow the scheme overall to deliver 20,000 extra homes.

Hunt announced £32m to tackle planning backlogs, along with a new permitted development right to allow one house to be converted into two homes.

The government will invest £450m into the third round of the Local Authority Housing Fund to delver 2,400 extra homes. It will extend the preferential rate offered by the Public Works Loan Board, which loans to local authorities, for housebuilding.

The government said this could “provide savings and additional investment in social housing of as much as £150 million over the life of the borrowing.”

The autumn statement also confirmed money to help the development of what Hunt called ‘housing quarters’ in Cambridge, Leeds and London. This includes £2m to help Cambridge address water scarcity, £3m to look at the case for a Cambridge development corporation and £2m in capacity funding to help the development of homes in Leeds.