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Shapps unveils Affordable Rent proposals

Housing minister Grant Shapps has released further details of the government’s Affordable Rent product which housing associations will be able to offer from April 2011.

Speaking in parliament he says the government will ensure that the existing tenancies and rents of secure and assured tenants of social landlords are protected and respected in these reforms. 

He says: “Given the huge pressures on public finances we must also ensure that we get more for the money we invest in new social homes.

“Alongside the Localism Bill, the introduction of Affordable Rent will represent a significant first step towards giving social landlords much greater freedom to respond to local housing need. 

“The Homes and Communities Agency will publish a full framework document early next year that will form the basis for bids from providers who are interested in offering Affordable Rent.”

Affordable Rent will allow housing associations to convert vacant social rent properties to Affordable Rent at re-let, at a rent level of up to 80% of market rent. 

Housing associations will be able to convert vacant properties to Affordable Rent where they have reached an investment agreement with the Home and Communities Agency about how additional rental income will be reinvested in the supply of new affordable housing.     

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