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Social Housing: Financial Transactions Capital

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Finance and Personnel – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP 2:45 pm, 13th October 2015

The current funding model for social housing utilises an element of public grant funding to try to lever in additional private finance. Even during the very recent housing turmoil, there was no problem in accessing private finance for social housing. If the social housing programme were to be fully funded through financial transactions capital, the rent that would be required to service the debt in relation to FTC would make it unaffordable for most social housing tenants. Now, if there are new ideas on using FTC for social housing, I will, of course, look at them. As I said in my substantive answer, we have been able to work with developers who are looking at affordable homes and to help them to build new homes. We have done that through a range of measures, including Get Britain Building, affordable home loans and the Empty Homes scheme. We have used FTC in that context, but, if there are new, innovative ways to use it for social housing, I stand ready to look at those as well.