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Government announce expansion of the Affordable Homes Programme 05/01/2017

Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced an expansion of the government's affordable housing programme to meet the diverse housing needs of the country.


Housing providers can now apply for a share of the fund, which was allocated an additional £1.4 billion at the Autumn Statement to deliver 40,000 new affordable housing starts across the country.


Alongside this extra funding, the government is expanding the existing affordable homes programme to offer a wider range of ways of helping people into home ownership and to provide support for those that need affordable housing. This includes homes for Rent to Buy which will be let with rents set at or below 80% of the local market rent for a set time period, giving tenants the opportunity to save for a deposit and then the option to buy their current home.


The government claims the expanded £7 billion programme will deliver more than 200,000 homes.


The expanded Affordable Homes Programme will support the delivery of:


  • Shared Ownership homes, providing a route into home ownership for those struggling with affordability
  • Rent to Buy homes, helping first time buyers to save for a deposit to buy their home while they rent at discounted rates
  • more Affordable Rent homes, recognising that many of those who rent in the private rental sector need support to be able to afford market rents.


Rent to Buy has been introduced and expanded as part of the government's Affordable Homes Programme 2016 to 2021.


The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) launched its prospectus for the Shared Ownership and Affordable Housing Programme 2016 to 2021 in April 2016. Housing providers who have been successfully allocated funding to the total of £1.28 billion for affordable housing were announced on 5 January 207. The list includes a number of ARCH member councils including City of Lincoln Council (£4.2m), Rotherham MBC (£6.8m) and Stoke City Council (£7.2m) among others. See the full list.


Following the announcements made at Autumn Statement, the publication of a prospectus addendum will put into effect the changes to how grant will be allocated going forward. The addendum invites bids against the available funding.


There is no set closing date for applications at this time and the HCA will assess bids on an on-going basis in a process of continuous market engagement (CME). The prospectus remains the key document for the Shared Ownership and Affordable Housing Programme 2016 to 2021: its content stands unless explicitly amended.


Funding is allocated by the HCA outside London and the Greater London Authority (GLA) in London.


Housing associations and local authorities will be able to bid into the Programme for funding to build Shared Ownership, Rent to Buy and affordable rented homes. The government is also encouraging private providers to bid for Shared Ownership.

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