In response to the backlash following August’s green paper on social housing, Theresa May has, today, announced £2bn to build new homes and remove the ‘stigma’ around social housing
Today, Theresa May has announced that the Government will be making £2bn available to build more affordable housing in the UK. Under the plan – which will roll out from 2022 – housing associations, councils, and other organisations will be able to bid for the money to spend on new projects.
Speaking at the National Housing Federation summit in London, the PM has also said that she wants to see ‘social housing that is so good people are proud to call it their home’.
This is promising news for the sector. While there are critics – with Labour, for example, calling the plan ‘far short’ of what the sector needs – the big push on affordable homes can only be a good thing.
Being able to bid for specific amounts of money represents a significant change in the way funding is allocated, meaning that social housing providers can have more confidence in funding their future. Local authorities and housing associations will be able to confidently plan schemes and developments, bolstered by financial security and certainty.
While there are still hurdles to overcome, this is a positive step – and a marked departure from August’s green paper. The paper set out the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s new vision for social housing – but didn’t make any mention of what additional funding would be available to support its proposal. It also didn’t address the question of housing supply, and how an increase would be funded, leaving providers with more questions than answers.
Now, at least, there is more certainty – in the form of £2bn over the next 10 years. How the funding allocation will work in practice remains to be seen, but it’s encouraging to see such a significant amount of money being plugged into the sector.
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