Housing faces tough fight for public expenditure share

But the CIH said that the the housing sector could take some crumbs of comfort with the Government’s decision to maintain its high levels of public borrowing through to the end of 2011 to safeguard public services and support the economy.

The decision means that Government will continue to honour its housing pledge to build 112,000 affordable homes over two years and extend, by six months, the Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme which helps homeowners who have experienced a fall in income to remain in their homes.

However, the stamp duty holiday which has helped 240,000 new homeowners will end at the end of the year and a further housing supply stimulus package appears to be limited to bringing forward £100million in 2010/2011 to unlock stalled housing sites.

Some of the most needy and vulnerable people in society will benefit from PBR announcements to improve home heating and insulation. However, the estimated 200,000 people this may help fall a long way short of the estimated 7.6 million non decent homes in England alone.

Sarah Webb, CIH Chief Executive said: "There are some helpful measures [announced today] and we should recognise Government efforts and success to stabilise the housing market. The reduction of 6.1% to 3.1% for average rent increases in 2010/2011 for local authority tenants will also make a difference to millions of people.

"However, there are now some real dangers that the recession will derail the excellent progress we were making to improve housing policy in key areas. An improved role for the private rented sector, a decent homes programme, addressing carbon emissions from our 26 million homes – accounting for over a quarter of all of the UK’s output – and the creation of a more stable and sustainable housing market, which is less reliant on the boom and bust of house price inflation, could all now be at risk.

"We hope housing professionals will support CIH in the coming months, as we approach the next election, to send a loud and clear message to all politicians of the need to invest in housing."

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