Housing providers can apply for a share of a £7bn fund to increase the supply of affordable homes, the government has announced.
As of 5 January, housing associations, local authorities and private developers in England are able to bid for funding to build thousands of shared ownership, rent-to-buy and affordable rented homes in what the Department for Communities and Local Government described as a “dramatic expansion” of its housing programme.
However, the £7bn figure is compiled from previous announcements. It is made up of £4.7bn in grants announced in April 2016, £1.4bn that was announced in the November 2016 autumn statement, and about £1bn that was allocated under a previous affordable homes programme.
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The £1.4bn will be available to housing associations and councils and used to fund work on 40,000 additional affordable homes by 2021. The government has already said the £4.7bn of cash available between now and 2021 would help deliver at least 135,000 shared ownership homes, 10,000 rent-to-buy properties, and 8,000 homes for supported living and older people to rent.
Under rent to buy, rents will be set at or below 80% of the local market rent for a set period in order to give tenants the opportunity to save for a deposit and then the option to buy their home.
Work should soon be able to start on the first of these homes after the government announced that the housing providers which had successfully been allocated a total of nearly £1.3bn from this £4.7bn pot were due to be named today.
The communities secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “Our newly expanded affordable housing programme, turbo-charged by a multibillion-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.”