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Budget 2018: The impact on housing

The problems in housing do not merely mean that someone doesn't have a roof over their head, but it is vital that other areas which affect those in need, such as mental health provision are also recognised as part of the problem. Therefore, the Chancellor's specific mention of mental health provision being part of the NHS 10 year plan and the expansion of children's social care have to be good news in providing funding for support services.  There will always be arguments as to whether this is new money or simply filling a hole which has arisen following austerity. It is at least a recognition of the need for a joined up approach to the issues faced by those most in need.

The £675m "Future High Streets Fund" mentions facilitation of redevelopment for under used commercial into residential property. This is likely to mean a change to allow for permitted development rights, rather like the policy of allowing conversion of offices to residential without the need for a specific planning consent.

A further £500m for the Housing Infrastructure Fund again underlines the importance of housing and offsetting from developers the costs of infrastructure on major schemes to help unlock housing developments.

The extension of SDLT exemption on shared ownership properties valued up to £500,000 purchasing a £300,000 share, sorts out an anomaly in the tax system whereby they were caught by an SDLT hit whereas buying 100% didn't give rise to this. It's interesting that this is applied retrospectively so is this going to be claimed via the individual tax code.

All in all a reasonably positive housing budget, not necessarily adding anything new but follows the trend from previous budgets.

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