What The 2021 Budgets & Levelling Up White Paper Will Mean For The Social Housing Sector
Although the Autumn Budget seems a long time ago, it is important to consider what was announced and how this may impact the sector moving forward. Two key areas of focus included the £11.5 billion investment commitment through the Affordable Homes Programme and the £1.8 billion to be spent on developing 1,500 hectares of brownfield land, unlocking one million new homes.
In terms of the £1.8 billion figure, £300m will be provided to combined and local authorities to unlock smaller sites, with the remaining £1.5 billion providing funding to regenerate underused land and deliver transport links and community facilities.
Further detail in February 2022’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) White Paper confirmed that the 80/20 rule which led to 80% of government funding for housing supply being directed at ‘maximum affordability areas’ (in practice, London and the South East) will be scrapped, with much of the £1.8 billion brownfield funding instead being diverted into sites across the North of England and the Midlands.
In addition, the government has committed to building more genuinely affordable social housing, with a new Social Housing Regulation Bill delivering upon commitments the UK government made following the Grenfell tragedy in 2017.
In Wales, the government announced in December 2021 that it will spend £310m in Social Housing Grants in 2022-2023, up from £250m in 2021. The confirmed plans would see a spend of £330m and £325m in 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 respectively, making up over £1 billion across the next three years. This is all designed to support the government target of building 20,000 low carbon social homes by the end of this parliament. In addition, £580m will be allocated for the decarbonisation of social housing in Wales over the next 3-4 years.
For information or advice on any of the topics raised, please contact our affordable housing team.