Reprofiled £11.5bn Affordable Homes Programme now set to deliver less than 158,000 homes

Homes England’s £11.5bn affordable homes programme is expected to miss a lowered estimate for delivery, a senior official for the government agency has confirmed.

The programme was originally expected to deliver 180,000 homes but the National Audit Office said in September 2022 it forecasts completions to be 22,000 homes fewer.

Shahi Islam, director of affordable housing at Homes England, has now confirmed to Building’s sister title Housing Today that completions will be “some way” lower than this revised 158,000-home target.


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The number of affordable homes built by Homes England is expected to miss a revised target

The rise in inflation and borrowing costs since the mini-Budget in 2022 have seen Homes England and the Greater London Authority, which administers the programme in London, increase grant rates for schemes where housing associations were struggling to make projects viable due to increasing costs.

Islam said: “If you’re introducing higher grant rates and do more social rent, then there will potentially be a compromise on numbers,” he said, agreeing that the overall figure will now be “some way south” of the NAO’s figures.

>> See also: Can housing associations again keep development going as the rest of the market slows?

>> See also: Housing Today calls for affordable housing funding review and planning overhaul

In London, the GLA had been originally expected to deliver 35,000 homes with £4bn of grant but last year agreed to deliver between 23,000 and 27,000 for the same funding.

Tom Copley, deputy mayor for housing at the GLA, said delivery has been further hampered by what he calls a “chaotic and haphazard” implementation by the DLUHC of rules requiring second staircases on high-rise buildings.

See Housing Today tomorrow for Joey Gardiner’s in-depth analysis of the Affordable Homes Programme

A Fair Deal for Housing

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Housing Today’s A Fair Deal for Housing campaign is calling for the government to launch a review to look how to increase affordable housing delivery to 100,000 homes a year. This should consider overhauling existing funding for affordable housing so that a more ambitious programme can be delivered. 

The report suggests the review could look at grant rates for affordable housing, a longer-term rent settlement for social housing providers, a time-limited stimulus package to counteract the high cost of private funding and at mechanisms to lever in more institutional finance for ‘for-profit’ registered providers.

The campaign is also caling for measures to reform the planning system, boost private housing delivery and make regeneration easier.

Click here to read more about the campaign