Submitted by Rebecca Bennett Casserly, EC Harris, Head of Affordable Housing
DCLG and the HCA have launched the long awaited 2011-15 Affordable Homes Programme. It sets out the framework for providers of affordable housing to bid for a share of the unallocated remains of £4.5 billion - some £2.2 billion - over the next 4 years.
The Spending Review saw the advent of a "new world" for the sector. This programme along with benefit reform, HRA reform and the Localism Bill, provides a significantly different operating environment to the one we were in just a few months ago.
Indeed, in the run-up to the launch we’ve heard about: providers considering pulling out of new build with grant altogether; finance directors scratching their heads on how to broker the Affordable Rent regime with lenders; and development directors grappling with financial models on what levels of grant are going to be deemed acceptably low.
I believe this new world represents an opportunity to create a more holistic approach to place-making through a more joined up investment programme in new and existing stock.
As this is the first time providers will need to demonstrate the capacity they have unlocked from their portfolio and business practices, we believe bidding providers should focus on three key areas to gain competitive advantage… Click here to read more.