Bids for the next round of government funding for affordable housing must be submitted by April next year, the chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency has said.
The next round of the HCA’s Affordable Homes Programme funding, which provides just under £3bn of grant to fund 165,000 homes for shared ownership and affordable rent, starts in April 2015 and runs to 2018.
Bidding guidance will be published at the end of this year and funding decisions will be made by July 2014, the agency’s chief executive Andy Rose told delegates at the National Housing Federation Annual Conference in Birmingham today.
Mr Rose said past performance of bidders would be taken into account when deciding whether they would get grant in the new programme and value for money would continue to be a consideration.
The HCA said in July that providers could lose their contracts if annual contract reviews found they had failed to meet targets for volume and quality.
He said: “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.”
Affordable rent means homes rented at up to 80 per cent of the market rate. Traditionally social housing rents were often lower.