Has NHB ceased (so currently no benefit in data cleansing)?

Further to David Gibben's original post, has there been any confirmation from Government about either cessation or continuation of NHB? Or the form of / timescale for potential replacement incentives? I note in the Government's 29/01/19 written statement about the final settlement that: "The consultation illustrated that the sector wants certainty on the future of the New Homes Bonus after next year. The government remains fully committed to incentivising housing growth and will consult widely with local authorities on how best to reward housing delivery effectively after 2019-20." We are currently deliberating about whether to undertake a major data cleansing exercise prior to October snapshot - the recorded number of long-term empty properties normally influencing calculation of NHB payment. If (apart from reducing the headline figure for number of LTEs) it would bring no financial reward, then it would arguably be an unjustified burden on staff resources; but if we stand to benefit financially, as we have in previous years, then it could be worthwhile. I'd be grateful if anyone could help shed light on the situation to help us decide. Thanks in anticipation of advice.

David Clough

New Homes Bonus

Hi David

There doesn't seem to be any progress on this. Nothing turns up in Google searches anyway.  I do have alerts running for NHB and nothing seems to have been flagged up by them.

Going back to my original post, the government backtracked on its stated intention to increase the threshold, with James Brokenshire claiming that doing so (i.e. back-trackinng) cost them £18million (see https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2019-02-05d.241.0 ).

As regards the second point, that there is no further funding allocated to NHB givven the end of the Spending Review period, the impact of this is less certain, bearing in mind that NHB was always supposed to end up revenue-neutral, relying on a system of winners and losers after an initial 4 years of extra funding..

However, they had continued to put in additional funding to ease the impact on the losers after the four years. If there is no more addiitonal money then one would infer that the losers will lose more in order to fund the winners if the NHB continues.

You will probably agree that In the current political environment absolutely anything is possible so it would be safest to press on with the data cleansing which after all does have its own merits (though I am not arguing that the cost-benefit ratio necessarily justifies it).

David Gibbens
Pontificator (retired)