On 8th September 2020, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced the prospectus inviting bids for the UK Government’s massive investment into affordable housing. The new measures will make it easier to get a foot on the property ladder.

In total, the new programme represents the highest single funding commitment to affordable housing in the last ten years. The £12.2 billion investment in affordable housing, which was confirmed at the Budget, also includes £700 million to be spent on new homes through the 2016 to 2022 programme.

The new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme will be delivered over five years between 2021 and 2026 and will provide 180,000 new homes throughout the country, should economic conditions allow.

The programme will also unlock a further £38 billion in public and private investment for affordable housing, with new homes being made available from next year. The Government also announced that around half of the new homes built will be available for affordable home ownership, which will help even more people get a foot on the housing ladder.

To support people from all backgrounds, the rest will be made available for discounted rent, including 10% for supported housing – to support those with physical or mental health challenges.

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

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “This announcement represents the highest single funding commitment to affordable housing in a decade and is part of our comprehensive plans to build back better.

“This government is helping hard-working families and prospective first-time buyers get their feet on the housing ladder in an affordable way. 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”

The new Shared Ownership model announced will:

reduce the minimum initial share you can buy in a property from 25% to 10%

allow people to buy additional shares in their home in 1% instalments, with heavily reduced fees

introduce a ten-year period for new shared owners where the landlord will cover the cost of any repairs and maintenance

Additionally, the Housing Secretary has 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

Nick Walkley, Chief Executive of Homes England, said: “We welcome the launch of the new Affordable Homes fund, which gives Homes England a unique opportunity to work on behalf of the government to accelerate the delivery of high-quality, affordable homes.

“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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