Affordable housing has always been central to the success of thriving mixed communities, but with house prices rising rapidly in recent years, even in the current downturn market, affordability is more important than ever. There are 1.7 million households on council waiting lists for rented accommodation, and the national average house price is increasingly out of reach for many.
The Homes and Communities Agency will be responsible for the delivery of nearly all of England’s affordable homes.
We are investing £8.4 billion between 2008 and 2011 with our development partners – housing associations and private sector developers – to fund at least 180,000 new affordable homes. By 2010-11 the ambition is to see a building rate of 70,000 homes per year, with at least 45,000 for social rent and 25,000 for affordable sale.
Affordable housing includes homes for social rent under the long-term management of Registered Social Landlords; and affordable sale through the HomeBuy Scheme. In addition, the HCA’s responsibility for affordable homes also includes £100 million funding for Gypsies and Travellers, and £100 million for vulnerable people.
All new build affordable homes will have to meet the HCA’s quality and design standards, including environmental sustainability levels and minimum room sizes in excess of those in the private sector. Crucially however, we will also invest heavily in the Decent Homes Standard, designed to greatly improve nearly four million existing housing association and local authority homes.
Last updated: 3 June 2009