Government unveils £11.5bn Affordable Homes Programme

Robert Jenrick
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick

The government has revealed new details about how it plans to spend the £12.2bn in investment it pledged for affordable housing in the Budget earlier this year.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick yesterday (7 September) announced the new £11.5bn Affordable Homes Programme, which will be delivered over five years from 2021 to 2026, in addition to £700m on new homes being spent on a programme running from 2016 to 2022.

The new Affordable Homes Programme aims to deliver up to 180,000 new homes “should economic conditions allow”.

Nearly £7.5bn will be delivered outside London by Homes England. The Greater London Authority has been offered £4bn and negotiations about what it will deliver with this funding are in progress.

Homes England will publish its Affordable Homes Programme prospectus this week, inviting councils, housing associations and private providers to start preparing their bids. New homes will be delivered from next year.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Today’s announcement represents the highest single funding commitment to affordable housing in a decade and is part of our comprehensive plans to build back better.”

Jenrick also announced a new model for shared ownership to help more people onto the property ladder by reducing the minimum initial share, and launching a consultation to ensure new homes deliver the accessibility required by families.

Under the new shared ownership model, the minimum initial share buyers can purchase in a property will fall from 25% to 10%. People will also be able to buy additional shares in their home in 1% instalments, with reduced fees, and there will be a 10-year period for new shared owners where the landlord will cover the cost of any repairs and maintenance

Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England, said: “The fund will support improved productivity in construction and unlock new economic opportunities across the country. Despite the challenges of covid-19, this long-term funding settlement gives our partners the confidence they need to invest in new homes and the communities they work for.”

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