Affordable homes being pushed by landlords
Over three quarters of landlords with the lion's share of grant allocations for the the Homes and Communities Agency's Affordable Homes programme are planning on pushing development forwards in order to take advantage of early payment incentives.
This comes after the HCA told housing associations that it would pay 75% of grants in advance for any schemes brought forward into the current financial year, reported Inside Housing magazine today. This is in spite of the fact that the programme was originally conceived as a payment-on-delivery model. The magazine stated that the HCA made the offer weeks before it published 'shock figures' revealing that less than 500 new homes were built in the first six months of the year.
The magazine's snap survey of the 25 providers with allocations in excess of £20M revealed that the majority have plans to start development earlier than originally proposed, meaning that there could be 2,500 additional homes before the end of March 2012.
Pat Ritchie, chief executive of the HCA, said 'The feedback we are getting from them is that it fits their ambitions,' reported Inside Housing. The news should also come as a boost to the industry- Building magazine today quoted newly released figures from the Office for National Statistics putting construction output down by 1.1% compared with the previous month, and down 2.7% on the same month last year.
And it's bad news for housing. Noble Francis, of the Construction Products Association said "Public Housing output fell by 6% in October compared to the previous month and 2.7% compared to a year earlier."