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Chancellor urged to set up National Housing Bank

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Chancellor urged to set up National Housing Bank

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Housing

Chancellor urged to set up National Housing Bank Chancellor urged to set up National Housing Bank

Chancellor George Osborne has been urged to make setting up a National Housing Bank his number one priority in his Autumn Statement.

The Housing Forum, a membership body representing organisations involved in the construction and repair of housing, says such a move is more important to the country's infrastructure than "one-off flagship transport projects".

The Forum has called on the chancellor to:

1. Establish a National Housing Bank with on-lending facilities. In the face of uncertainty over financial assets and tough lending conditions, property investment continues to be a safe long-term proposition. Whilst major institutions have investment funds, they are looking to invest at much greater size and scale than fits many housing developments and this is impeding delivery of new homes. The flexibility of a National Housing Bank could attract major investors and offer investment opportunities in retail bonds and Housing ISAs for smaller investors and would immediately stimulate house building.

2. Housing is more critical to the infrastructure of the country than a flagship transport project. Its national benefit- creating and contributing to growth and a stable society cannot be understated. Housing spending should be valued as part of growth, following the G8 model with a statutory-backed investment institution and removed from the PSBR in order to move strategic and regional housing growth forward.

3. Tackle the extremes of inner city housing poverty through a remodelled stock transfer programme - with funding for 30 or 40-year period. This would allow for remodelling of the existing stock and the re-planning and remodelling of homes to offer a new product to downsizers. This to be backed by a Government “Help to Invest” guarantee programme (modelled on Help to Buy).

4. Tax breaks for companies to provide affordable rented homes for employees and also for others. Allow a tax deduction for investment in new homes, a "holiday" in terms of capital gains for funds invested in employee housing and incentives to recycle surpluses to build and provide further homes.

5. Land supply for housing must be tackled and together with infrastructure investment, planned on a 10-20 basis and removed from the short-term political cycle.

6. Maintain ECO for high efficiency and heating improvement for the 50% of existing homes still to be upgraded but direct the funding through local authorities to manage delivery.

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