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Orbit’s response to the Autumn Statement

In response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Wednesday 23 November, Chief Executive Paul Tennant spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live on the Government’s commitment and additional investment into affordable housing over the next five years.

With Orbit having recently reached its development milestone of 5,000 new homes built since April 2013, Paul highlighted that developing housing associations, such as Orbit, are committed to building more homes across a range of tenures, as well as helping customers move from one tenure to the next as their circumstances change.

Autumn Statement: the key points

  • £1.4bn to deliver 40,000 extra affordable homes
  • £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas
  • Ban on upfront fees charged by letting agents in England ‘as soon as possible’
  • Universal Credit taper rate to be cut from 65% to 63% from April at a cost of £700m
  • No plans for further welfare savings in this Parliament
  • £1.1bn extra investment in English local transport networks
  • £1.8bn from Local Growth Fund to English regions

Speaking to trade magazine, Inside Housing, Paul said the government had listened to the sector in its call for funding flexibility. He said this “reinforced” that the Right to Buy deal “has given us access to government which we wouldn’t have had otherwise so it’s been a longer-term strategy”.

He added £1.4bn is not enough to tackle the scale of the housing challenge but it is “certainly a useful investment”.