The prospectus for the Government's affordable housing programme, which was announced in the Budget in March, has been launched by Housing secretary Robert Jenrick.
The programme will be the highest single funding commitment to affordable housing in a decade, with the aim of accelerating the delivery of high-quality homes and helping people get a foot on the housing ladder.
The aim of the Programme:
The £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme which will run over a period of five years, from 2021 to 2026, is aimed at:
- Providing up to 180,000 new homes across England, should economic conditions allow; and
- Unlocking another £38 billion in public and private investment in affordable housing.
The availability of the homes:
The government has announced that around half of the new homes will be for affordable home ownership and a revamped Shared Ownership scheme with the intention of helping the next generation onto the property ladder. Robert Jenrick has announced that the new shared ownership model will:
- Reduce the minimum initial share that can be bought in a property from 25 per cent to 10 per cent;
- Permit additional shares to be bought in 1 per cent instalments, with heavily reduced fees; and
- Introduce a 10-year period for new shared owners which will require the landlord to cover the cost of any maintenance or other repairs.
The other half of homes will be made available for affordable and social rent, including 10 per cent for supported housing for people with physical or mental challenges. However, given the unprecedented recession underway, coupled with thousands of job losses many have argued that the government should be investing more in social housing which is genuinely affordable, as opposed to discounted shared ownership schemes which are not.
The government's plans to level out how the investment is distributed within England is evident by its commitment to deliver £7.5 billion outside London by Homes England, the government's housing accelerator and £4 billion to the Greater London Authority. However, negotiations about what will be delivered with this funding are still in progress.
Given the government's commitment to delivering homes next year, Homes England are due to publish its Affordable Homes Programme prospectus at any time, inviting local authorities, housing associations and private providers to start preparing their bids.
If you would like any further information about the prospectus for the government's affordable housing programme, please get in touch with your usual client partner, or Susan Simpson or Dinah Patel.
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