As Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Autumn 2018 Budget, Sarah White, Residential Sector Manager for British Gypsum responds…

“Following on from Theresa May’s personal pledge to fix the housing crisis, we were certainly not surprised that Philip Hammond would once again keep housing delivery at the forefront of Budget discussions.

“Hammond promised an extra £500mn for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, to add to the pot of money local councils can apply for to help build new homes, stating the extra funds would help build upto 650,000 new homes. He also confirmed the Government would honour Theresa May’s promise earlier this month to lift the housing borrowing cap on councils and announced that the Government will work with nine housing associations to support the delivery of 13,000 homes across England.

“All of this coupled with Government efforts to support SME housebuilders with up to £1bn of British bank guarantees means we are optimistic that we should see an increase in affordable new homes in communities across the country.

“While these efforts to accelerate housebuilding are most welcome, it was disappointing that the Government was not ready to respond to Letwin’s recommendations on reform to the planning process – another crucial step towards delivering the homes the country so badly needs.

“In the meantime, the key now is for the industry to work together to drive up quality and ensure we are not just delivering homes fast, but we are delivering better quality homes that are flexible to cater to individual homeowners’ needs.”