Is there truly a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Government announcement of more money for social housing!
Over the last few months we have begun to see a shift in government policy in the area of social housing and housing issues. It appears to signal a new chapter in the relationship between the social housing sector and the government from the hostile policy environment of the last few years.
Last week the Prime Minister revealed that the government will remove the limit on the amount of monies councils can borrow to build new council homes. The removal of this cap will allow Councils the tools they need to help them to tackle the national housing crisis and build more truly affordable homes for social rent. The government has announced £9 billion for the Affordable Housing Programme to councils which they hope will lead to an extra 10,000 new homes each year being built.
Over the last few months we have seen:
• An announcement of £2 billion to build new social housing
• £178 million for community led housing initiatives
• An announcement that there will be a charge on higher rate stamp duty on those buying homes who do not live and pay taxes in the UK. The money raised will be invested into reducing street homelessness
• The recent Green paper outlined improving tenant engagement and calls for stronger representation of tenants at a national level. It also calls for the stigma associated with living in social housing to be challenged.
We, as Rural Housing Enablers at Action Hampshire welcome the announcements, monies and initiatives. We see this as a real opportunity to work with our partners in Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing (HARAH) to widen the options available to us to deliver truly affordable homes for Hampshire’s rural communities.
Since HARAH began more than 12 years ago it has built almost 500 affordable homes in rural Hampshire.