Wed 23 Nov 2016
Affordable homes will be a key part of today's Autumn Statement.
Chancellor Philip Hammond will announce a £1.4bn fund after the number of new affordable homes slumped to its lowest level in 24 years.
Provisional government figures show the 32,110 new affordable homes in 2015/16 was less than half the 66,600 built the previous year, and the lowest since 1991/92.
Today Mr Hammond will try to buck that trend by committing a fund to help build 40,000 more affordable homes by 2021.
The funding will be split three ways, the Chancellor will announce in his mini-budget.
It will go to affordable rent schemes, where homes cost 80% of the market rate.
It will go to shared ownership schemes, where tenants' bills are split between rent and a mortgage.
And it will to the 'rent to buy' scheme, where tenants pay a discounted rent while they save for a deposit and can put it down after five years.
Treasury officials said the fund was new and would be available for councils, housing associations and private firms to bid for.
But Labour's Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said the slump in affordable homes showed the announcement was "too little and too late".
"The reality is Ministers’ deep cuts have left a funding shortfall of over £17bn compared to the plans I left as Labour’s last Housing Minister," he said.
"Today’s announcement doesn’t even make up a tenth of that”.
“The Government have no long term plan to fix the housing crisis and if they’re serious about trying they should back Labour’s plans to build tens of thousands more affordable homes to rent and buy each year.”
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