Social housing projects edge closer to the abyss

13 09 2010

The fallout quietly continues from the government’s decision to cut funding for social housing projects.

Almost sixty housing projects incorporating more than 1,500 social or affordable housing units are now under genuine threat of cancellation due to cuts at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which administers a number of commercial and social housing initiatives.

Back in May the coalition withdrew £230m of funding for the HCA, creating a black hole in the HCA’s budget and throwing hundreds of housing schemes into doubt. The government later provided some financial relief to reduce the funding shortfall, allowing many schemes to progress, but around 160 schemes were still left at risk.

The HCA has now announced that 105 of these at-risk schemes have now secured funding under the body’s Kickstart 2 and Local Authority New Build (LANB) programmes, while one or two others should proceed under different funding streams.

But the remaining housing schemes are in limbo, and may now have to be scrapped. The HCA is working with developers to see if they can be funded under other HCA programmes, but the agency’s own budget is limited and money is in short supply.

Below are links to the schemes that have been saved and those that are under threat:

In the above tables, HBD refers to Home Buy Direct, LCHO refers to Low Cost Home Ownership, and SR refers to social rent. All are forms of social or affordable housing.

Bristol has fared particularly badly. Of 13 Bristol-based schemes that were under review by the HCA, 10 remain at risk, with funding secured for only three developments.

London schemes have generally been given the green light – although eyebrows might validly be raised at the £22m in Kickstart 2 funding that has been committed to six Berkeley Homes schemes in London that contain not a single social or affordable housing unit between them.

Of course, this merely accounts for cuts to two schemes – Kickstart 2 and LANB. The impact of the government’s decision to abandon housebuilding targets will be far greater as Britain’s long housing crisis deepens.

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One response

21 11 2011
steve @ affordable homes

These cuts won’t lead to economic relief in the long run, as the cuts, I’m sure, were intended to do, but they’ll lead to lower economic return. With anything up to and exceeding three times return on every pound invested in housing in this country, continuing investment in development of housing would have been the clever long term strategy.

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