HCA and mayor of London announce £1.3bn in affordable housing funding allocations

Out-Law News | 23 Jul 2014 | 4:46 pm | 2 min. read

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has announced £886 million in funding allocations under its Affordable Homes Programme, on the same day that mayor of London Boris Johnson revealed the recipients of £404m under the Mayor's Housing Covenant for 2015-18.

The Affordable Homes Programme for 2015-18 was launched in January to provide £1.7 billion in grant funding to providers of affordable homes outside London. Developers, housing associations and councils were invited to bid for a share of the funding and the government announced the 160 recipients of a share of the first £886m in grants on 22 July.

The money allocated so far is intended to fund the construction of nearly 38,000 new homes by 2018, with the remaining £814m to be "made available via continuous market engagement in due course", the HCA said. The greatest share of funding was allocated to housing providers in the Midlands, receiving an allocation of £226.6m towards the provision of 10,024 new affordable homes, while the North East, Yorkshire and Humber region will receive £205.1m.

The largest award to an individual provider was allocated to Waterloo Housing Association, which will receive nearly £52m towards the construction of 2,128 affordable houses. Other large awards went to New Charter Homes with £34.8m for 1,745 homes, Home Group with £34.2m for 1,178 homes and Orbit Group with £27.9m for 1,368 homes.

HCA chief executive Andy Rose said in a statement: "We have set in place a solid delivery programme that will ensure a smooth transition from our current Affordable Homes Programme, and that delivery can start promptly. The allocations announced today are closely aligned with locally identified priorities and offer value for money and increased certainty of delivery, with over 75% of the homes we are funding on firm schemes."

On the same day, Boris Johnson revealed allocations of £404m under the Mayor's Housing Covenant for 2015-18. The scheme invited housing associations, local boroughs and commercial housebuilders to apply for funding for the provision of new affordable homes across the capital by 2018.

The largest single award under the scheme went to Notting Hill Housing Trust, which will receive £59.3 m towards the provision of 2,250 homes. Other large awards went to housing Network Housing Group, which will receive £22.7m to provide 873 homes, Peabody Trust with £20.3m towards 968 homes and Octavia Housing with £18.3m for 718 homes.

Funding was allocated to 13 of London's boroughs to run their own affordable housing programmes, including a £10.9m allocation to Lambeth for the delivery of 303 homes and £9.7m for 387 homes in Waltham Forest.

"The only way to address the huge demand for housing and tackle the 30 year backlog of undersupply is to build more homes," said Johnson in a statement. "We've worked closely with expert housing providers to ensure this funding will deliver much needed low cost homes across the capital."

"These latest funds, together with innovative measures to unlock land and development being pioneered by City Hall, will provide thousands more good quality affordable homes for Londoners to rent and buy," the mayor said.