Affordable rented housing reforms could mean cuts in development programmes of up to 75%

Housing associations could cut their development programmes by anything up to 75% under proposals for funding affordable rented housing.

Fears that the reforms will lead to a collapse in housing numbers have intensified after the Homes and Communities Agency published its “Affordable Rent” prospectus, despite the fact it repeats a target to build 150,000 affordable homes in the next four years.

Under the plans, development grants to housing associations will be slashed from April, but associations will be able to increase their rents on new homes to 80% of the local market level.

Housing associations questioned by Building said they were planning to cut their development programmes by between 25% and 75% in response to the model, due to tenants’ financial limitations and the need for increased borrowing.