Stonewater reaction to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement clearly reinforces the Government’s desire for housing associations to become more commercially-focussed, innovative and operationally efficient.
While we support this shift in focus and recognise the benefits and opportunities it presents, we believe the way forward is through a mixed house-building strategy that increases housing supply across all tenures – not just ownership.
It is good to see increased funding being pledged for new starter home development but it is not the answer for everyone. The introduction of starter homes in high value areas, for example, will not necessarily help prospective home owners already priced out of the market. The new Help to Buy Shared Ownership recognises that many first-time buyers can’t afford to purchase, even using Help to Buy. We believe that building more genuinely affordable homes to rent is still absolutely essential and are keen to understand more about how increasing funding to the private sector fits with the sustainability of delivering a range of tenures via Section 106 agreements.
Our vision remains: ‘for everyone to have an opportunity to have a place they can call home’ and we are keen to work with local and national government to see how we can contribute to delivering homes across a range of tenures, which genuinely reflect the needs of the communities we serve.
Bob Strachan, Chief Executive Officer, Stonewater