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Theresa May announces £2bn funding for affordable housing

Theresa May has announced £2bn in new funding for housing associations.

Speaking at the National Housing Federation (NHF) summit in London today, the prime minister promised the extra money, intended to help long-term construction decisions, which will be assigned over the next 10 years.

Addressing the summit of NHF, which represents housing associations, May said she had been told the sector needed “stability provided by long-term funding deals.”

The PM also said she wants to remove the “stigma” around social housing and that too many politicians “continue to look down” on it.

Under the plans, housing associations, councils and other organisations will be able to bid for the funding starting from 2022, and in return May said the housing associations should use their expertise, connections and long-term planning to “achieve things neither private developers nor local authorities are capable of doing.”

“Doing so will give you the stability you need to get tens of thousands of affordable and social homes built where they are needed most, and make it easier for you to leverage the private finance you need to build many more.”

This marks a change in the government’s stance on housing and affordable homes as May looks to place emphasis on housing associations building their own large-scale developments and help ease the housebuilding crisis.

The extra £2bn for social housing has been welcomed by chief executive of the National Housing Federation, David Orr, but “the really big news here is the prime minister’s long-term commitment to funding new affordable homes.”

He said: “This represents a total step change. For years, the way that money was allocated meant housing associations couldn’t be sure of long-term funding to build much-needed affordable housing.

“Now, by changing the way in which they allocate funding, ministers have given long-term confidence and confirmed that we are trusted partners in solving the housing crisis, building new homes and communities.

“Ultimately, this will have a huge impact on building the affordable homes that thousands of people across the country desperately need.”

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Image credit - NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images


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