Kwarteng slammed over lack of measures to boost affordable housing delivery and support for low-income households

Housing providers and industry bodies have criticised the government’s mini-budget for not doing enough to support the development of affordable homes.

Mark Perry, chief executive of Vivid Homes, which plans to build 17,000 properties in the south of England by 2030, said there was “almost nothing in the growth plan to help people on the lowest incomes”.

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Gavin Smart, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Housing

He added: “While targeting growth as an antidote to inflation, why not put the money into building more much-needed affordable homes at rents people can afford? That would stimulate the economy and help to address our critical housing shortage.”

Gavin Smart, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “With rising inflation, which impacts those on the lowest incomes the most, the energy price guarantee on its own was never going to be enough to get people through this winter.

“As we set out in our recent letter to the prime minister, we needed to see additional support for vulnerable households, targeted through the benefits system, and support for more energy efficiency measures.

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Matthew Townson, director of development and projects at Moda Living’s single family housing brand Casa by Moda, said: “If we are to tackle the shortages of quality housing across the UK, a broader approach involving supply-side policies which incentivise the building of more homes remains crucial.

Fiona Fletcher Smith, chief executive at housing association giant L&Q, said she welcomed measures in the mini-budget to expand home ownership, decarbonise homes and simplify planning.

However she added: “There remains a chronic shortage of affordable housing across the country, and more government support will be essential to ensuring the delivery of homes of all tenures, including social rent.”


Growth plan: key housing measures at a glance

  • Investment zones  The government will work with the devolved administrations and local partners to introduce investment zones across the UK. Such areas will benefit from “tax incentives, planning liberalisation and wider support for the local economy”.
  • Stamp duty cut  The duty-free threshold will rise from £125,000 to £250,000. The first-time buyer threshold increases from £300,000 to £425,000. First-time buyer stamp duty relief will be available for properties up to £625,000 rather than £500,000.
  • Land disposal  The government will promote the disposal of surplus public-sector land by allowing departments greater flexibility to reinvest the proceeds of land sales over multiple year.
  • Faster delivery  Legislation will be brought forward in the coming months to reduce “unnecessary burdens” to speed up the delivery of infrastructure. This includes reducing the “burden of environmental assessments” and “bureaucracy” in the consultation process, reforming habitats and species regulations and increasing flexibility to make changes to a development consent order once it has been submitted.
  • Energy efficiency  The government will open applications for up to £2.1bn of funds over the next two years to help local authorities, housing associations, schools and hospitals to invest in energy efficiency and renewable heating.