2020 Budget promises new money for housebuilding

New Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered his first Budget in the House of Commons, including an extension of the Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) and a £1bn fund to remove “unsafe cladding.”

£12bn will be released with the new AHP settlement, which reportedly represents a rise of £3bn on the previous plans.

A £1bn Building Safety Fund was also announced, intended to ensure that “all unsafe cladding is removed from every building over 18 metres.”

Alongside these measures, the Chancellor spoke of a £400m fund for “ambitious mayors” for use in brownfield sites, and a nearly £1.1bn allocation for the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

For councils, the Government revealed it is set to cut interest rates on lending for social housing by 1 per cent, and that £650m will be spent tackling rough sleeping.

For the wider economy, the Chancellor predicted it will grow 1.1 per cent this year, not taking into account the impact of coronavirus, with an inflation forecast of 1.4 per cent this year, increasing to 1.8 per cent in 2021-2022.

In terms of environmental measures, a plastic packaging tax is set to come into force from April 2022, with which manufacturers and importers whose products have less than 30 per cent recyclable material will be charged £200 per tonne.

The Chancellor also announced £120m for communities affected the recent flooding, £200m for flood resilience, and that the total investment in flood defences will be doubled to £5.2bn over the next five years.