Affordable housing gains £7bn boost as the government unlocks funding

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Housing providers will be able to apply for a share of £7bn funding to help expand affordable housing across the country

A £7bn fund has been unlocked to assist with the development of affordable housing. The government said the fund would be available to housing providers, who can apply for a share.

An additional £1.4bn was added to the funding pot during the Autumn Statement last November. This money will help deliver some 40,000 affordable new homes.

The announcement, which was made by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, was also accompanied by an expansion of the affordable homes programme. This will offer more ways to help people into home ownership, providing greater support for people at different stages of their lives.

Commitment to affordability

Commenting on the announcement, Javid said: “This government is committed to increasing housing supply and halting the decline in affordability.

“Our newly expanded affordable housing programme, turbo-charged by a multi-billion pound investment, will allow housing associations to build more homes in places where they are most needed, particularly for families who are just about managing.

“By encouraging the delivery of more homes under a variety of tenures, we can create a housing market which truly works for everyone, meeting the diverse housing needs of this country.”

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said the government remained as committed as ever to ensuring homes remain affordable for those wishing to purchase property.

“Up and down the country we are investing more in affordable housing to help make the dream of home ownership a reality for thousands more tenants.

“This includes opening up the housing market to younger people and providing decent, affordable homes for rent for those who cannot afford to buy.”

Expansion of the scheme

Funding is allocated by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Greater London Authority in London. There is no set closing date for applications and the HCA will assess bids on an on-going basis in a process of continuous market engagement (CME).

HCA chair Sir Ed Lister said: “The HCA is leading the government’s drive to increase the scale and pace of delivery of housebuilding.

“The expanded affordable housing programme will help us continue to work with both housing associations and developers new to this area of the housing market to increase the availability of affordable homes.”

Expansion of the programme will give providers the flexibility to meet local demands while boosting housebuilding numbers—a good thing for the construction sector. It will also focus primarily on low income families and those who have difficulty managing.

The government said the investment will support the delivery of:

  • Shared Ownership homes, providing a route into home ownership for those struggling with affordability
  • Rent to Buy homes, helping first time buyers to save for a deposit to buy their home whilst they rent at discounted rates
  • more Affordable Rent homes, recognising that many of those who rent in the private rental sector need support to be able to afford market rents

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