£12 billion boost for affordable housing

Housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, has announced plans to help Britain ‘build back better’ with a £12 billion investment into new affordable housing. After a turbulent year, this is a welcome sign of potential future growth and stability.

A recent government announcement has revealed plans to boost the housing sector by £12 billion. Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, described the figure as ‘the highest single funding commitment to affordable housing in a decade’ and part of the government’s ‘plans to build back better’. As well as investing a further £700 million into the existing 2016 to 2022 programme, the government is launching a new £11.5 billion Affordable Housing Programme. The scheme will include building 180,000 new homes between 2021 and 2026 across the country, with nearly £7.5 billion of the investment dedicated to non-London postcodes in order to fulfil the government’s commitment to improving the entire nation. The new build properties will be fulfilled by Homes England alongside councils, housing associations and private providers.

As part of the government’s continued commitment to helping people onto the property ladder, around half of the 180,000 newly built homes will be dedicated to affordable ownership. The remaining new properties will be available for discounted rent, with 10% specifically being used as supported, social housing. In a further effort to assist people achieve home ownership, many of these rented properties will be available with a Right to Shared Ownership. This will allow tenants to buy their homes, as long as they fulfil the criteria, using the amended Shared Ownership model the government is launching. The new scheme includes changes such as reducing the minimum share from 25% to 10%.

The announcement will likely be music to the ears of builders and buyers alike, suggesting that there is hope for the future of the new build industry. Nick Walkley, Chief Executive of Home England, believes that ‘this long-term funding’ provides the ‘confidence’ needed for all parties involved. Similarly, the Housing Secretary describes it as a positive step in the industry, meaning ‘more families across the country will be able to realise their dreams of owning their own home’.

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