‘10,000 affordable homes feared lost through section 106 change’
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government
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The Government has said that 10,000 affordable homes might be lost through the changes to section 106 arrangements announced earlier this month.
As part of its stimulus package to kick-start the housing market, the Government announced that developers who could prove that affordable housing requirements through section 106s were making stalled schemes unviable could request them to be removed.
This, it said, could unlock 75,000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable.
However, the move has been criticised by some housing associations who rely on section 106 agreements for their development programmes. They also fear the loss of mixed communities as schemes can go ahead without any affordable housing.
Speaking in the House of Commons earlier this week, Labour MP for Lewisham East, Heidi Alexander, asked the Government how many affordable homes will not be built as a result of those changes, bearing in mind that the National Housing Federation estimates that 35,000 new affordable homes are built through the process each year?
The new parliamentary under-secretary of state for Communities and Local Government Don Foster – who replaced Andrew Stunell in the reshuffle – said: “If we do not take these steps many of the developments will not take place. Nevertheless, if we go ahead with the schemes, as we hope to do, we estimate that around 10,000 affordable homes might be lost through section 106 agreements, which is why we have put in place a funding scheme that will provide more than 15,000 additional properties and bring a further 5,000 empty properties back into use. We will get double what was going to be lost.”