NHF expresses concerns over HCA's new prospectus
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing
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The National Housing Federation has expressed concerns that the Homes and Communities Agency's latest prospectus may discourage housing associations from making funding bids.
Though broadly welcoming steps taken by the HCA in response to feedback, the NHF has warned that some housing providers will be put off from the bidding process, because "the grant on offer does not warrant the restrictions and expectations set out in the prospectus".
Catherine Ryder, the NHF's head of policy, said: “The confirmation of scheme-specific grant rates, start-on-site payments and that there will be money available for future bidding rounds is good news and will encourage the participation of new social housing providers.
“Encouraging local authorities to make available land for affordable homes is positive, but we need clarity on how this will be incentivised. It’s also disappointing that there’s no mention of how central government land could be used to build more affordable homes.
“The focus on value for money and cross-subsidy is expected, but the greater level of scrutiny is concerning. While conversions and disposals will be important, housing associations and their boards are the only ones who can determine the social and economic value of their homes and how this meets their business objectives.
“While we agree that building new affordable homes, including one- and two-bed properties, should accurately reflect what is needed in local communities, this must be informed by robust assessments, not government policy.”