Building new homes for social rent and supporting regeneration
The building of new homes, especially new homes for social rent, will help to support more homes to be safe, warm, and dry. New homes are more energy efficient, and benefit from new ventilation systems and improved components, such as better windows to retain heat.
Whilst all G15 members are investing significant resources into existing homes to improve energy performance and other conditions, to both meet housing need and to tackle issues such as overcrowding, continuing to deliver new social rent homes is vital.
The Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) has been extremely welcome. However, government funding is only one relatively small part of the resources needed to build the most affordable types of homes. The remainder of the cost is met by G15 members and other providers, and the rents we receive from homes. Furthermore, the most recent AHP has removed funding for replacement homes, meaning the cost of replacing a home that is demolished as part of a scheme has to be met by the wider scheme, impacting viability. It is the case that demolition and replacement are a much needed aspect of meeting housing need, replacing homes that have reached the end of their useful life, or which the demolition of would facilitate the building of more affordable homes.
Government should increase grant funding for the supply of social rented homes, and reintroduce funding for the replacement of existing homes through future funding programmes. Allowing Recycled Capital Grant Funding (RCGF) to fund building safety works has been added to Homes England’s capital funding guidance, and this move should be extended to all aspects of the Affordable Homes Programme.
The government can:
- Increase grant funding for the supply of social rented homes
- Fund the replacement of existing homes through regeneration programmes
- Allow flexibility on the use of existing resources to help build more genuinely affordable homes