Housing issues including a stamp duty holiday, a devolved Housing Investment Fund and a model to tackle homelessness are among the items set out as priorities by Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram ahead of this week’s Autumn Budget.
The desired housing investment fund would, said Rotheram, allow money spent by Government and the Homes & Communities Agency to be targeted to where it is most needed.
The City Region has also proposed a collaborative Housing First model to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. Rotheram added that a stamp duty holiday would allow the City Region to create a fund to remediate uneconomic brownfield land and boost housebuilding in urban neighbourhoods.
He said: “This is a real no-brainer and an obvious area where modest additional resources, financial flexibility and a real commitment to devolution would give us the tools to tackle one of our biggest policy priorities.
“It is obviously an area where local people know best, and local decision-making can deliver a great deal more.”
The City Region submitted its wish list to Treasury in September. Amongst the other issues put forward were a clear commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail along with support for local transport improvements, enhanced digital connectivity, backing for science assets and feasibility spending towards the proposed Mersey Tidal Energy project.
Rotheram said: “We are still facing a situation where for every £1 spent on infrastructure in the North, £6 is spent in London and the South East. This is not just about fairness, it’s about recognising that rail connectivity, a modern and efficient transport system, digital connectivity and exploiting our renewable energy and science assets are fundamental to our economic future.
“Government needs to start thinking about our regions in a more entrepreneurial way. If you want to improve productivity, and rebalance our economy, then you have to invest in the things that are going to drive and accelerate growth.”