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Commentary Piece: Autumn Statement

The sector has reacted this week with a mixed response to George Osborne’s Autumn Statement announcement.

Despite welcomed rises – with the housing budget being doubled to £2bn and a pledge to build 400,000 new homes by 2020-21 – it is clear to see that this is not enough. The plans unveiled suggest that up to 50% of new builds will be dedicated solely for starter homes, which will be available to first-time buyers at a 20% discount to the market rate.

Although it is good to see movement towards helping first time buyers onto the property ladder, with today’s living wages the proposed plans are far from realistic.

It has been estimated that 250,000 affordable homes need to be built each year to meet the needs of people in the UK. Although the government has expressed its commitment to supplying new homes, there needs to be a lot more done to bridge the gap between supply and demand.

As the sector makes steps towards tackling the housing crisis, there will be a real need to increase recruitment levels and drive much needed training. Potentially thousands of jobs could be created with the announcements fitting aptly with the launch of JHG’s apprenticeship scheme.

Our scheme will involve JHG resourcing new young talent on behalf of interested social landlords – deliver one years’ worth of extensive and in depth training in specific skill areas – with the end goal of placing the apprentice into a permanent position with social landlords. Following the recent announcements, we anticipate the scheme will be of significant interest among social landlords.

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