Autumn Statement 2015: 400,000 affordable homes to be built by 2020

New building

The Chancellor has pledged to build 400,000 affordable new homes by the end of the decade, as the housing budget was doubled to £2 billion in the Autumn Statement.

The announcement was made to address a “growing crisis” as Osborne admitted the number of homeowners aged under 35 has halved over the last 15 years.

In what was dubbed as the biggest house building programme since the 1970s, around 200,000 new properties will be available through the Starter Homes scheme, where first-time buyers get 20% off new-build properties.

A further 135,000 properties will be made available through the Help to Buy: Shared Ownership scheme, which allows people to build an equity stake over time. It’s open to those earning less than £80,000 outside the capital, and £90,000 within.

Some 10,000 more properties will be committed to letting people save a deposit while they rent, in addition to 50,000 available under existing schemes.

The Spending Review also detailed commitments for 8,000 specialist homes for older people and those with disabilities.

Laith Khalif, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Affordable housing is a big issue in the UK today and the government looks to be responding by turning on the supply taps. First time buyers are likely to benefit from the plans, but so are the developers who are going to going to build the hundreds of thousands of starter homes ordered by George Osborne.”

The National Housing Federation criticised the government’s housebuilding policy in September, as it emerged only half the required homes were built between 2011 and 2014. At the time, the government committed to building 1,000,000 new homes by the end of this parliament.