£8.6 billion allocated for affordable housing across England

By - World Infrastructure Journal

£8.6 billion allocated for affordable housing across England

Nearly 120,000 new homes are due to be built across England with £8.6 billion worth of funding being allocated this week. Around half of these new builds are expected to be available for affordable home ownership including 30,000 social rent builds.

This is not new funding, however, and is part of the previously announced £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme which is due to deliver just under 200,000 homes. The government has called this the “largest single investment in affordable housing in a decade. ”

Of this current allocation, £3.46 billion has been awarded to the Greater London Authority to help alleviate the acute housing crisis in London. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has announced that this will go towards 29,456 homes, half of which will be delivered by borough councils.

Mr Khan said:

“I am delighted that we have been able to come to a deal with the Government to get started on nearly 30,000 genuinely affordable homes. Over the last five years I have overseen a council homes renaissance in London thanks to our relentless focus on giving boroughs the funding and expertise they need to build. I’m pleased to see this is now paying off with more than half the homes being funded at social rent levels in this deal being built by councils.

“All Londoners deserve a safe, secure home with enough space to live comfortably, and private outside space to enjoy fresh air. I want to deliver a new generation of genuinely affordable housing in London that sets the standard nationally when it comes to excellent design, safety and sustainability.

“[The] funding is good news but I know we can still go further, faster, working with ministers, housing associations and councils to deliver more of the homes Londoners so desperately need. ” 

The remaining £5.2 billion to be allocated across the rest of England similarly will go to a wide range of partners. Managed by Homes England, the funds are to be shared between 90 new partnerships including councils, housing associations and private housing providers.

CEO of Homes England, Peter Denton explained:

“Not only does [the] announcement give our new Strategic Partners the funding, flexibility, and confidence they need to build much needed affordable homes across the country, it also establishes a large network of organisations looking to share their skills and capabilities to expand the affordable housing sector and transform communities.

By forming Strategic Partnerships with a wide range of public and private organisations, we are creating the conditions needed for institutional investment to catalyse affordable housing supply and in future give local authorities more of the tools they need to plan and act strategically, shaping their communities and building new homes. ”

The Affordable Homes Programme is part of the government’s plans to deliver up to 300,000 new homes a year by the mid 2020s. By their own estimations in 2018, up to 345,000 new homes were needed per year in England to meet need which has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Despite this great pressure, only 244,000 new homes were built between 2019 and 2020.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said on the latest announcement:

“Creating more opportunities for home ownership is central to this government. This £9 billion funding is a landmark moment for our Affordable Homes Programme and will ensure good quality housing for all as we build back better after the pandemic.

“This huge funding package will make the ambition of owning a home a reality for families by making it realistic and affordable.

“We are also ensuring tens of thousands of new homes for rent are built in the years ahead, including social rent, so those on the lowest incomes can enjoy good quality, secure rented homes, built and managed by reputable providers. ”

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