October has been a productive month in terms of the social housing sector. The government seem to have accelerated discussions in terms of budgets for affordable housing and reviewing a number of important issues such as prioritisation for domestic abuse victims. This blog aims to summarise the month’s main new stories.
Additional government funding allocated to Help to Buy
October kicked off with news that the Government are investing a further £10 billion in the Help to Buy equity loan. It is thought that this initiative will help 135,000 afford a home by 2021 (figures taken from www.gov.uk). The Help to Buy equity loan works by the government lending the buyer 20% of the house value. The buyer saves a 5% deposit and therefore will only require a mortgage of 75% of the remainder of the value. As an added bonus, the government will not charge fees on the 20% loan for the first five years. Full details are available at: https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/equity-loans/.
A further £2 billion also has been allocated to build homes in areas where affordability is preventing people living in their own home. The aim is to supply a further 25,000 homes for local people who may need more a home with more affordable rent. This brings the total invested in this area to £9 billion.
About turn in government views on lending
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid alluded that the government will be looking to make the most of current low interest rates and lend money to help achieve their housing targets. Speaking on Andrew Marr’s, BBC 1 show, Sajid added that housing associations and councils will have a “big role to play’ in helping to ease the current housing crisis.
Other October UK Housing News
- The PM met with housing associations and developers to outline her plans to increase housing supply.
- The Government have released guidance to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are treated as a priority for social housing.
- The first Fees and Resources Advisory Panel (FRAP) meeting was held 30th October which broke down the fees of social housing per unit to ensure transparency with stakeholders.