Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Budget 2013: RIBA slams Osborne for missed housebuilding opportunity

From BDOnline

President Angela Brady calls for major public investment in affordable housing
The RIBA has slammed efforts to boost the housing industry in today’s budget announcement and said measures such as housing loans and mortgage guarantees will “barely make a dent” in the UK’s housing shortage.
RIBA president Angela Brady said Osborne had missed an opportunity to announce a major programme of public investment in affordable housing to meet demand where private house builders have failed.
“Government should act as a catalyst for sustainable construction growth where the market is failing to deliver,” she said.
“Today’s budget was the opportunity to kickstart a major programme of capital investment in new affordable homes and to lay the foundations for the green economy – on both counts the chancellor has failed to deliver.”
Brady pointed to figures which show that the private sector has only ever provided around 150,000 homes a year, while around 300,000 new houses are required each year to meet demand.
She welcomed Osborne’s Help to Buy package, which included an interest free loan scheme for homes up to £600,000 and £12 billion of mortgage guarantees, but warned that the government had not gone far enough.
“Whilst today’s Help to Buy announcement will enable greater access to mortgage finance, it does not sufficiently address the root cause of the housing crisis.
“We are not building enough homes, many of those that are being built aren’t good enough, and we cannot rely on private housebuilding alone to turn things around.
She added: “We weren’t expecting a game-changer budget today, but this country desperately needs one.”

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