Govt opens £7bn affordable housing programme

Sajid-Javid-700x450.jpgCommunities Secretary Sajid Javid has today opened the £7 billion expanded affordable housing programme previously announced by the Chancellor in November’s Autumn Statement.

Housing providers can now apply for a share of the fund, which was allocated an additional £1.4 billion at the Autumn Statement to deliver 40,000 new affordable housing starts across the country.

Alongside this extra funding, the Government is expanding the existing affordable homes programme to offer a wider range of routes into home ownership.

The variety of tenures available now includes affordable rent, shared ownership and rent to buy.

Under rent to buy, homes will be let with rents set at or below 80 per cent of the local market rent for a set time period, giving tenants the opportunity to save for a deposit and then the option to buy their current home.

Javid says: “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.”

Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) chairman Sir Ed Lister says: “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.”

The Government says its expanded programme will also allow providers the flexibility and agility to respond to local needs and markets. It claims this will boost housebuilding by encouraging providers to deliver a mix of homes for both affordable rent and low-cost ownership that is most suited to each place.

There will be further announcements in the Housing White Paper out later this month.