The Chancellor Alastair Darling is preparing to announce new measures – and an injection of £1bn –  to help the housing market as part of his 2009 Budget. Moves to engage with the construction industry – which makes up 6% of the economy – build council houses and also extend the stamp duty holiday are all thought to be part of the plan.

Mr Darling has indicated that the Treasury will partner with private companies to help to complete stalled development, purchase properties on new developments as social housing or shared equity properties, and also help to pay for infrastructure like roads on new build sites. These moves are calculated to ensure the Government’s target to build 240,000 homes a year by 2016 remains possible in the current climate.  There may also be a fund for the state to take a stake in housing projects where work has stalled.

Further funding is to be made available for the mortgage rescue scheme where homeowners who have suffered losses in income and are having trouble paying their mortgages will receive help from the Government in the form of loans to be repaid at a later date.  

The stamp duty holiday on properties over £175,000 is also set also be extended until the year’s end.

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