Majority of ‘affordable homes programme’ will be for buyers, not renters


signatureThe majority of the government’s new £8.6bn affordable homes programme will be directed at helping homebuyers, rather than renters, housing secretary Robert Jenrick announced on Tuesday.

Advantage has previously written about the pressure being brought to bear on the government to create more social and affordable housing.

As reported by the Independent, out of the 119,000 new homes being built under the programme, 57,000 will be for ownership, and just 29,600 will be for social rent. Meanwhile, 6,250 are set to be rural affordable homes.

Creating more opportunities for homeownership

Mr Jenrick said:

“Creating more opportunities for homeownership is central to this government. This £9bn funding is a landmark moment for our affordable homes programme and will ensure good quality housing for all as we build back better after the pandemic.

“This huge funding package will make the ambition of owning a home a reality for families by making it realistic and affordable.”

The housing secretary added:

“We are also ensuring tens of thousands of new homes for rent are built in the years ahead, including social rent, so those on the lowest incomes can enjoy good quality, secure, rented homes, built and managed by reputable providers.”

According to Property Wire, new research released this month showed a further plunge in affordability across the UK property market amid stagnated wage growth and soaring house prices following the stamp duty holiday this year. Figures suggest that the standard UK home now costs 8.1 times average earnings, a sharp increase from 5.41 times average earnings in 2011.

house keysAdvantage’s view: The ‘affordable homes programme’ is one of a number of government initiatives aimed at boosting home ownership in the UK, and, as noted by Mortgage Solutions, the funding for the programme is in addition to government schemes like the First Homes scheme, which offers new homes at up to a 30 per cent discount on market value, and the 95 per cent mortgage guarantee scheme. The aim of these government interventions is to offer more members of ‘generation rent’ an opportunity to own their own home. However, with house prices continuing to rise following the Stamp Duty holiday, although £8.6bn may sound like a significant sum, it certainly won’t be the last investment that this government, or the next, makes in a bid to create more affordable housing.

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