Affordable Housing

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 14th December 2017.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether the Government has made an assessment of the extent to which the use of viability assessments could reduce affordable housing contributions.

Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps are being taken to prevent housing developers using loopholes in the Government's planning policy to reduce the number of affordable houses.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

Stakeholders report that the use of viability assessments can add complexity and uncertainty to the planning process. This can lead to delays and diminished contributions towards infrastructure and affordable housing.

The Government consulted on proposals to reform the viability assessment process within the Planning for the right homes in the right places consultation. This will create more certainty about the contributions developers are expected to make to affordable housing and reduce the use of viability assessments at the planning application stage. The viability of the expected contributions should be tested at the plan-making stage. Where tested in plan-making, the issue should not usually need to be tested again at the planning application stage.

The consultation has now closed and we are currently analysing the responses. A further announcement will be made in due course.

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