The government is committed to increasing the supply of social housing and has made £9 billion available through the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2022 to deliver approximately 250,000 new affordable homes for a wide range of tenures. This includes at least 12,500 homes for social rent to meet the needs of struggling families and those most at risk of homelessness in areas of the country where affordability is most pressured. This is the minimum number of social rent homes we expect to be delivered – the programme is flexible and the precise number will depend on the bids that are received for the funding.
We previously announced an additional £2 billion of long-term funding certainty for housing associations. This extra funding will deliver more affordable homes and stimulate the sector’s wider building ambitions, through strategic partnerships. On 27 June 2019, bidding was opened on £1 billion of this funding through Homes England. We are working closely with the Greater London Authority to open bidding on £1 billion for London as soon as possible. Our ten-year funding commitment through strategic partnerships marks the first time any government has invested such long-term funding in new homes through housing associations.
We have also removed the Housing Revenue Account borrowing caps for local authorities and have set out a long-term rent deal for councils and housing associations in England from 2020. Housing associations and local authorities now need to accelerate delivery and build more affordable homes.
Since 2010 there has been an increase in the number of homes for social rent by 79,000, in contrast to the decline between 1997 and 2010, whilst the Right to Buy for council tenants has been preserved.
Investment in social rent homes beyond the current programme will be decided as part of the forthcoming spending review.