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Orbit welcomes Government commitment to house building

Orbit Group, the 39,000-home housing provider, today welcomed the Chancellor’s pledge to deliver 400,000 new homes in what he described as the biggest housebuilding programme since the 1970s.

George Osborne’s Spending Review announced a mission to ‘turn Generation Rent into Generation Buy’ with a commitment to double the housing budget, including £4bn investment into building 135,000 shared ownership homes by 2020-21.

This echoes calls from Orbit and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) in the Shared Ownership 2.0 report, published in February, which recommended that the number of shared ownership homes built be doubled to 30,000 per year. It also called for government investment and backing to help ‘normalise’ the product into the ‘fourth tenure’.

As one of the UK’s largest developing housing associations, Orbit has seen demand continue to grow for shared ownership homes and in some areas outstrips supply by a factor of up to 10 to one. In the first six months of 2015-16 Orbit has sold 168 shared ownership homes, compared to 178 in the whole of 2014-15.

Orbit Chief Executive, Paul Tennant, said: “We welcome the ambition shown by the Chancellor to produce more housing and recognition that housing associations, such as Orbit, have a key role to play in delivering the homes this country so desperately needs. This announcement signals a step-change in the difficult relationship between housing associations and Government by placing the sector firmly as part of the solution. I am fully aware of the challenges we still have ahead. We must not forget our role in helping those in greatest need and recognise home ownership is not for everyone, financially or personally. We need to see today as the start of what we hope will be a productive and effective relationship.”

See how Orbit and CIH’s Shared Ownership 2.0 report influenced government announcements:

View the infographic