Investment in housing to support recovery – an update on our work

We’ve been speaking to the government about how Affordable Homes Programme funding can be used for the housing investment we need to support recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

An integral part of our coronavirus recovery plan has been making the case for investment in new social housing to support jobs, the construction sector, and deliver the social homes we need.

This would be delivered through the current and next Affordable Homes Programmes, which is the government’s primary route for funding affordable housing. In the March budget, the government announced £12.2bn for the next five-year AHP, which is set to run from 2021-2026.

We’ve been engaging extensively with the government about how this funding can be used both to support recovery now and deliver the new social housing we need over the future years, as well as trying to mitigate any risks.

We are conscious of the government’s commitment to promoting home ownership, as well as the need for more social and affordable rented homes. As outlined in our member briefing, we have been calling for stability and certainty in the short term, alongside an ambitious new long-term vision for social housebuilding.

To support these asks, so far we have:

  • Held a roundtable with the Housing Minister and a group of members on how housing associations can contribute to recovery.

  • Met with officials in Number 10, Treasury and MHCLG and shared data and insight from members.

  • Written to the Chancellor and the Housing Minister outlining the case for long-term investment in social housing.

  • Submitted further evidence to the Housing Communities and Local Government select committee inquiry into affordable homebuilding.

  • Launched research into the long-term impact of affordable housebuilding on productivity in the construction sector.

  • Raised the need for clarity around the AHP and the need for it to support development of new social homes in a meeting with Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee Chair Clive Betts MP.

Clive Betts put these issues directly to the Housing Minister during his evidence session with the Select Committee on Monday 8 June.

In response, the minister restated his commitment to building more homes for social rent and said he is working with us on these issues, and the challenges presented for housing associations.

The minister also said he wanted to work with us to make sure that people have the opportunity of shared ownership, whilst ensuring homes of all types are built.