Lack of ‘spade-led' Budget represents missed opportunity to deliver significantly more affordable homes
Published by M Parker for Home Group in Housing and also in Central Government
Mark Henderson, Chief Executive of Home Group
ONE of the UK’s largest affordable housing developers today welcomed efforts to stimulate housing market demand but said the Chancellor had not delivered a budget to develop.
Home Group, which has committed to build 7,000 homes up to 2018, expressed disappointment that George Osborne had not adopted a range of potential initiatives that would tackle the chronic housing shortage in the UK.
However, the Newcastle based housing provider recognised that the Government’s Help To Buy scheme alongside additional investment in the Build to Rent fund and affordable homes guarantee programme had the potential to energise the sluggish housing market.
Mark Henderson, Home Group chief executive, said: “While efforts to stimulate the housing market are welcome, the Government has grasped the wrong end of the market. We desperately need to address the undersupply of houses. While a more active housing market will help, it will not have the immediate impact that more supply-focused initiatives would deliver.
“We remain committed to being a leading developer of affordable housing however extra supply certainty in this Budget it would have enabled us to play an even greater role in delivering new homes.”
Home Group, which houses more than 120,000 people from Dundee to Devizes and provides care and support for 26,000 vulnerable individuals, welcomed measures in the Budget to put a brake on cost of living increases.
Mr Henderson said: “Tackling rising fuel costs, taking more low paid workers out of the tax system and incentivising employers to create more work opportunities cannot be overlooked. Had the Government gone further and delivered greater support to enable vulnerable people to access jobs alongside help with childcare it would have created far greater benefit."
Mr Henderson added: “This Budget is set against a backdrop of Welfare Reform which poses an enormous threat to the customers and clients we are here to serve. We will study the detail of this Budget to understand what help, if any, is being given to reduce people’s reliance on the welfare safety net.”