Spending Review: Stonewater urges focus on levelling-up through affordable house building

Commenting on the announcements by the Chancellor in today’s Spending Review, Nicholas Harris, Chief Executive of Stonewater, said:

Nicholas Harris

“This one-year Spending Review for 2021/22 was always going to focus on managing the response to and emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although more tough spending decisions undoubtedly lie ahead, we urge the Chancellor to continue his focus on ‘building back better’ and the key role affordable house building can play in helping families recover, while creating jobs and levelling-up across all of the economy.”

On the need to continue to focus on routes to affordable home ownership, Nicholas added:

“At Stonewater, we are committed to creating pathways into sustainable home ownership. We strongly welcome the confirmation of the £12.2bn Affordable Homes Programme funding for 2021-26 and the £7.1bn National Home Building Fund, that will be focused mainly on crucial infrastructure. This longer-term certainty allows us to increase our house building pipeline, delivering thousands of homes that provide the right support at the right time. These span social rent right through to shared ownership as we help people through the pandemic and tackle the housing crisis.”

On the planning needed to meet the government’s net zero-carbon target by 2050, Nicholas said:

“The £12bn in 2021/22 confirmed in the Spending Review and last week’s £1bn investment to fund a ‘green industrial revolution’ are music to our ears. This helps give us the confidence we need to plan to deliver net zero-carbon by 2050.

“We know it will not be easy, but work we commissioned from the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) in the summer ‘Housing for the future’ showed how it can be done on retrofitting and new build using existing technologies. At our pilot project at Blackbird Leys in Oxford, 60 affordable homes are being retrofitted with ground-source heat pumps as part of the Energy Superhub Oxford. This will cut thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide and save our residents money, helping tackle fuel poverty. This is only the start, but it shows what we as a housing provider can achieve – and we plan to do much more to address the climate emergency.”

You can read the Treasury press statement and the main Spending review documents here.

Also, here is some further information on our project Housing for the future: Zero carbon homes and the UK’s retrofit challenge. Stonewater’s report with the IPPR is now available to download. Outlining the technological innovations that would enable the UK to effectively retrofit its existing homes.