Government names first winners in £7bn affordable housing push

As of today, housing associations, local authorities and developers can bid for a share of a £7bn Government pot, aimed at increasing the construction of affordable housing across the country.

The pot is made up of £4.7bn first announced in April 2016, an additional £1.7bn which was granted in last year’s Autumn Statement, and £1bn from an earlier affordable homes programme.

The first round of allocations from the £4.7bn funding, which focuses mainly on shared ownership housing, has also been announced today, with the North West securing £279.6m of the £1.3bn allocated.

Those securing funding for North West projects include Kier Living and Countryside Northwest, both new entrants to the shared ownership market. Together Housing and Calico Housing are to deliver schemes in East Lancashire, while funding was confirmed for supported living projects in both Manchester and Cumbria.

The news follows the government’s Autumn Statement declaration that it would expand its affordable homes programme to allow support for more tenures of housing, including affordable rent, shared ownership and rent-to-buy.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “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.”

The launch of the affordable homes fund comes ahead of the publication of the Government’s long-awaited housing white paper, which is due out later this month and could include proposals for planning reforms, and increase in housing targets for local authorities.

The Tories have a target of building a million new homes by 2020.

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