Billions of pounds announced for affordable homes

Published:  19 September, 2018

The prime minister is due to pledge an extra £2 billion funding for social housing today.

She is speaking at the National Housing Federation Summit today, and is expected to announce the funding as part of the government’s commitment to solving the UK’s housing crisis.

The “ground-breaking” scheme will offer housing associations the opportunity to apply for funding over the next decade – giving them the long-term stability they need to build tens of thousands affordable new homes and to access private finance to build more.

Teresa May (pictured) will tell Summit attendees: “You said that, if you were going to take a serious role in not just managing but building the homes this country needs, you had to have the stability provided by long-term funding deals. Well, eight housing associations have already been given such deals, worth almost £600 million and paving the way for almost 15,000 new affordable homes.

“Today, I can announce that new longer-term partnerships will be opened up to the most ambitious housing associations through a ground-breaking £2 billion initiative. Under the scheme, associations will be able to apply for funding stretching as far ahead as 2028/29 – the first time any government has offered housing associations such long-term certainty.

“Doing so will give you the stability you need to get tens of thousands of affordable and social homes built where they are needed most, and make it easier for you to leverage the private finance you need to build many more.”

She called on housing associations to take the lead in transforming how the country views social housing in return, leading major developments to create large-scale, high-quality housing.

“Given the right tools and the right support, you can act as the strategic, long-term investors in the kind of high-quality places this country needs,” she will say. “To put it simply, you get homes built. And I want to work with you to transform the way we do so.”

The government announced a total of £9.1 billion in public funding for council and housing association homes last year. This latest money is understood to be entirely new, and has been welcomed by housing associations as making construction planning easier.

David Orr, Chairman of the National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, welcomed the extra funding. He said: “The announcement… is extremely welcome – but the really big news here is the Prime Minister’s long-term commitment to funding new affordable homes. This represents a total step change. For years, the way that money was allocated meant housing associations couldn’t be sure of long-term funding to build much-needed affordable housing.

“Now, by changing the way in which they allocate funding, ministers have given long-term confidence and confirmed that we are trusted partners in solving the housing crisis, building new homes and communities.

“Ultimately, this will have a huge impact on building the affordable homes that thousands of people across the country desperately need.”

The announcement has also been welcomed by Legal & General Affordable Homes, but Managing Director Ben Denton added that there is more work to be done to ensure more affordable homes are built. He said: “Over the past decade, only 3,000 affordable homes have been delivered each year, highlighting the need to smooth the way for more institutional money to enter the sector.”

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