Salford deal signed as the government published details of £400m affordable homes scheme

Kris Hopkins

The government has given the go ahead to the transfer of 8,500 social homes in Salford to housing association Salix Homes in a move that is set to trigger £75m of refurbishment work.

Housing minister Kris Hopkins gave the go-ahead by approving the writing off of £65m of historic debt held against the homes.

The stock transfer will see the installation of 4,000 new kitchens and bathrooms, 3,000 heating upgrades and the replacement of the windows on 2,000 properties.

The news came a day after the government revealed its plans for spending £400m under its “affordable rent to buy” scheme announced in the Spending Round 2013.

The new system of funding will see government loans put towards homes that are initially rented at discounted rents, but can be sold off once the government funding has been recouped. Under plans laid out yesterday the government said the homes would have to remain rented for a minimum of seven years, and the government investment paid back within a maximum of 15 years.

Government will fund the new houses through loans with a fixed rate of interest. The working paper, produced in advance of a full bidding guidance, will be used to guide discussions with potential bidders while the final details are worked up.