In response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Julia Evans, BSRIA Chief Executive, said:
“The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has delivered his first and last autumn statement containing a comprehensive raft of policies that will support both members and the construction industry at large. Indeed, his announcements on housing, innovation and regional and local infrastructure will help business across the UK to invest with greater confidence for the long-term which is welcomed by BSRIA. However, it was disappointing to see no mention of the environment.
That said BSRIA is pleased that the Chancellor has promised more affordable housing to assist with the ‘shocking housing shortage’. Helping to meet the need for housing is one of the ‘quick-start’ infrastructure schemes BSRIA has been calling for throughout 2016. Members and industry will only really be reassured when we start to see a spade in the ground.
The UK’s housing crisis is one of the biggest challenges we face as a country, leaving an increasing number of people excluded from an ever more unaffordable housing market. BSRIA members continue to report that a lack of affordable homes is damaging their ability to recruit and retain staff; a factor affecting employers in general.
As a society, we need to make sure we are building a range of different homes to suit different people’s needs and aspirations. As such, government should recognise the importance of the Private Rented Sector and work with industry to improve the mechanism between landlords and those who wish to rent – especially around the area of deposits and charging. It was specifically encouraging to learn that fees charged by letting agents to those renting private accommodation will be banned.
The Chancellor's strong emphasis on the development needs of our cities, regions and nations is a confident and helpful step that sends out the right message for members and the industry based at all points across the country.”