Developers to get funding over three years for the first time

The Housing Corporation has announced a wide-ranging revamp of how it funds developers.

The corporation’s pre-prospectus, published today, details the criteria that the quango will use when allocating grants under the next multi-billion round of the National Affordable Housing Programme (NAHP). The 2008 to 2011 round could be the last to be run by the corporation, if the government’s proposals to merge it with English Partnerships proceed according to plan.

Steve Douglas
Steve Douglas: "The launch of the Pre-Prospectus marks a significant step forward in how we invest."

For the first time, developers will be eligible for funding over three years, extending to five years for strategic sites.

The prospectus also widens the eligibility for grants to arms length management organisations and local authorities. The corporation opened up grant funding to private developers in the last round of the programme.

And developers will be given the opportunity to access funding throughout the three year lifespan of the programme, enabling them to secure cash as and when sites are secured.

The corporation has also unveiled higher quality standards in a companion document which will be used to assess bids from the NAHP.

Corporation deputy chief executive, Steve Douglas said: "The launch of the Pre-Prospectus marks a significant step forward in how we invest."

He also said that the upcoming programme would give the corporation the opportunity to testbed new approaches to housing investment that could then be rolled out more widely by Communities England.

"The creation of Communities England offers new possibilities for achieving value from our grant programme – by linking to new land resources through economies of scale, and, when appropriate, through new ways to invest where early intervention and risk can earn a return to support further investment. We look forward to testing some of these ideas in our new programme."