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Government announces affordable housing investment

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08/09/2020
A consultation on minimum accessibility standards in new homes has also been launched, as well as further details on the Right to Shared Ownership model
Government announces affordable housing investment

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has announced £12.2bn of new investment in housing to help the country ‘build back better’, including homes for social rent to help the most vulnerable.

Half of the new homes will be available for affordable home ownership, and the rest will be made available for discounted rent, including 10% for supported housing – to support those with physical or mental health challenges.

Nearly £7.5bn will be delivered outside London by Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator. The Greater London Authority has been offered £4bn and negotiations about what they will deliver with this funding are in progress.

Homes England will publish their 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.

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.”

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP added: “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.

“Thanks to the range of flexible ownership options being made available, more families across the country will be able to realise their dreams of owning their own home, with half of these homes being made available for ownership.”

New shared ownership scheme

The government also confirmed a new model for Shared Ownership, which reduces the minimum initial share you can buy in a property from 25% to 10%, and allows people to buy additional shares in 1% instalments.

There will also be a 10-year period for new shared owners where the landlord will cover the cost of any repairs and maintenance.

The Right to Shared Ownership will be available on the vast majority of rented homes delivered through the new programme, providing tenants with a pathway into ownership by giving them the right to purchase a stake in their home.

Accessibility for all

Additionally, the Housing Secretary launched a consultation to consider how best to raise accessibility standards for all new homes in recognition of the importance of suitable homes for older and disabled people.

Today’s announcements follow proposals unveiled last month to overhaul the country’s planning system, including a new system of developer contributions to ensure firms play their part in funding affordable homes.

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