HCA chief executive reveals affordable homes programme timetable at NHF conference
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Development
HCA chief Andy Rose: What the spending review means for housing
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has set out the timetable for implementing the affordable homes programme (AHP) from April 2015 onwards.
Speaking at the National Housing Federation's (NHF) annual conference in Birmingham yesterday, chief executive Andy Rose announced the schedule for implementing the AHP that will deliver the bulk of 165,000 new affordable homes between 2015 and 2018.
Bidding guidance will be published at the end of the year - with bids to be submitted by April 2014 - and funding decisions will be made by July 2014.
Speaking before conference delegates, Andy Rose said: “Today we have set a timetable that makes the very best use of the lead-in time to 1 April 2015. It is a timetable intended to ensure that delivery of the existing programme – through which we are currently on track to deliver our contribution to government’s aspiration for 170,000 new affordable homes – remains the focus in this financial year, and that the pipeline for the current Affordable Homes Programme is largely on site by the time we come to consider bids for the new programme.
“At the same time, we are keen to ensure that we reach funding decisions at an early stage to allow schemes under the new programme to start to progress, ready for a strong start on delivery right from day one.”
Mr Rose emphasised that delivery, at pace, under the current programme is crucial, and that past delivery performance would be a key consideration, alongside greater levels of value for money, when making funding decisions.
He added: “The spending round settlement confirmed that we will need to achieve good value for money in the new programme – alongside, as ever, a fit with local priorities and a clear capacity to deliver – and there is an expectation that private resources will be maximised to ensure that grant produces as many homes as possible. As Regulator, we will want providers to do that consistent with maintaining strong financial viability.
“And as we start to consider the new programme, we are clear that we intend to take past delivery performance into account in our assessment of bids.”
Housing minister Mark Prisk, who also spoke at the conference yesterday, said: “The government has worked hard to help the housing market through one of its toughest times. Over the past three years we’ve delivered over 330,000 new homes, including 150,000 affordable homes. Housing supply is now at its highest level since the end of the unsustainable housing boom in 2008, and the rate of affordable housebuilding will soon be at the highest level for two decades.
“But there’s more to do, so I’m delighted that the timetable for building 165,000 new affordable homes after 2015, with £23.3 billion of public and private investment, is taking shape. The current programme is on track and exceeded original expectations, and today’s announcement will ensure we continue this progress and to build thousands of new affordable family homes across the country.”