Affordable homes scheme extended by a year

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced that a government scheme to help get more families across England into affordable homes has been extended by a year.

Following delays in the construction industry due to coronavirus, it is estimated that the building of 53,000 new affordable homes have stalled. The government has said that it will safeguard funding and make sure these much-needed homes are not lost altogether, extending the current Affordable Homes Programme until March 2023.

Homes built under the £9 billion scheme originally needed shovels to be in the ground by March 2022. Now, housing associations and councils have a year longer to begin building these homes while still receiving government support, giving them the flexibility and certainty they need to keep building across the country.

The announcement follows confirmation last week that the new £12 billion Affordable Homes Programme – which will start next year – will support up to 180,000 new affordable homes, including for shared ownership and social rent. The programme will lead to a further £38 billion in public and private investment in affordable housing.

Jenrick said: “Today I am announcing that we are giving more flexibility to housing associations and councils to help them deliver affordable homes. We’ve listened closely to the sector and agreed that there will now have a longer deadline for using government funding to get these homes built. Building the homes the country needs is central to the mission of this government as we prioritise uniting and levelling up the country.”