On the 5th January 2017, in a statement released by the Government it was revealed by the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid that £7 billion will be unlocked in a great expansion of the government’s affordable housing programme to meet the “diverse housing needs” of the country.

The fund had already been allocated an additional £1.4 billion at the Autumn Statement to deliver 40,000 new affordable houses across the country.  As well as the extra funding, the government has announced it will be expanding the existing affordable homes programme to offer a wider range of ways of helping people into home ownership and to provide support for those that need affordable housing.

With the expansion of tenures available; Affordable Rent, Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy, the programme will help meet the housing needs of a greater variety of people in different circumstances. This includes homes for Rent to Buy which will be let with rents set at or below 80% of the local market rent for a set period, giving tenants the opportunity to save for a deposit and then the option to buy their current home.

The £7 billion programme will deliver more than 200,000 homes.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:

This government is committed to increasing housing supply and halting the decline in affordability.

Our newly expanded affordable housing programme, turbo-charged by a multi-billion-pound investment, will allow housing associations to build more homes in places where they are most needed, particularly for families who are just about managing.

By encouraging the delivery of more homes under a variety of tenures, we can create a housing market which truly works for everyone, meeting the diverse housing needs of this country.

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said:

Up and down the country we are investing more in affordable housing to help make the dream of home ownership a reality for thousands more tenants.

This includes opening up the housing market to younger people and providing decent, affordable homes for rent for those who cannot afford to buy.

Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Chairman Sir Ed Lister said:

The HCA is leading the government’s drive to increase the scale and pace of delivery of house-building. The expanded affordable housing programme will help us continue to work with both housing associations and developers new to this area of the housing market to increase the availability of affordable homes.