A leading official from the Communities and Local Government department has hinted it is unlikely more grant funding will be announced in the government’s spending review tomorrow.
Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Manchester today, Peter Schofield, director general for neighbourhoods at the CLG, warned that house building can’t be dependent on an increase in grant funding.
He told delegates: ‘Given… the importance of tackling the government debt position for growth, the answer to future house building can’t be dependent on hoping for a massive increase in publicly funded grant programmes, I’m sorry about that.’
His comments will come as a disappointment to the housing sector, which has been lobbying for more public funding for affordable homes. Inside Housing’s Grant Britain Homes campaign has also been making the economic case for investment in homes.
Mr Schofield said the government is having to look at beyond ‘traditional ways’ of delivering new homes, and identify new business models to draw private investment into housing.
His comments come ahead of the spending review on Wednesday where chancellor George Osborne has been expected to provide the sector with certainty over the future of rent setting.
However, Inside Housing understands that the much of detail around the housing settlement that has been agreed between CLG and Treasury is likely to be announced on Thursday by chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander instead.