In response to today’s Autumn Statement announcement, Cllr Neil Clarke MBE, chairman of the District Councils’ Network (DCN), said: “Philip Hammond has recognised the importance of housing as a national asset and driver of economic growth. However, delivery numbers have remained significantly lower than consents granted.
“The ambitious challenge of building 200,000 new homes a year remains, and districts are – and will continue to be – at the forefront of delivering the country’s housing needs since they already enable one out of every two new homes.
“The Chancellor has demonstrated he is seeking fresh approaches to tackling the affordable housing challenge by bringing greater flexibility to the types and tenures that can be supported through the announced £1.4bn.
“The DCN has long lobbied for infrastructure funding to support housing growth and therefore welcomes the Chancellor’s additional infrastructure funding to unlock barriers to housing delivery.
“The Housing White Paper will clearly be key and we will continue to work hard with ministers and officials to help shape it.
“The DCN has for some time now underlined the importance of the rural economy and consequently is delighted the Chancellor is providing support to rural businesses in the form of business rates relief to boost national productivity.
“To help rebalance the national economy, new mayoral borrowing powers granted to Combined Authorities, and further devolution of powers for adult education and employment support services to London and Greater Manchester, should be more widely available as part of devolution deals to other parts of England.”