Investment worth £1.67 billion to support a new generation of council housing for people in England seeking an affordable home to rent has been announced by the government.
The funding is expected to deliver around 23,000 new affordable homes of which at least 12,500 will be social rent homes in areas where house prices are currently high which Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said is a move to support families struggling to pay their rent.
He explained that it is part of the Government’s £9 billion investment in affordable homes, £1.67 billion of which was announced in March 2018 for London. This latest funding will deliver homes across the rest of the country.
Brokenshire has invited local authorities and providers of social housing such as housing associations to bid for a share of £1 billion extra borrowing to build much needed homes. This £1 billion borrowing cap raise will be split equally between London and the rest of England.
Local authorities have been calling for this kind of extra financial flexibility and Brokenshire said that it will be allocated to those in areas with the highest affordability pressures to ensure homes are built where they are needed most.
‘The Government has ambitious plans to fix the broken housing market and build the homes our communities need. Today’s announcement is a further milestone. It will secure the delivery of an additional 23,000 much needed affordable homes as well as paving the way for a new generation of council houses,’ Brokenshire said.
‘The majority of these new homes will be in high cost areas helping to ease the burden of rent on hard working families and delivering stronger communities. A bidding process will now begin for both programmes, with successful bids for the affordable homes funding notified throughout the year,’ he added.
A list of successful councils who have had their borrowing caps increased will be announced in due course. Along with the homes for social rent, homes will be available in other tenures such as shared ownership and affordable rent schemes.
Official figures show that since 2010 over 378,000 affordable homes been built. According to the official process an area of affordability pressure is defined as an area where there is a difference of £50 more per week between average private sector rents and social sector rents.