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PM announces £2bn funding for housing associations

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The prime minister is expected to announce a new “long-term” funding package for house-building worth £2bn - but the money will not be availble until 2022.

Theresa May is expected to call on housing associations to “take on and lead major developments themselves” in a speech at the National Housing Federation’s summit in Westminster.

The prime minister will say in her speech: “Today, I can announce that new longer-term partnerships will be opened up to the most ambitious housing associations through a ground-breaking £2bn initiative.

“Under the scheme, associations will be able to apply for funding stretching as far ahead as 2028-29 – the first time any government has offered housing associations such long-term certainty.”

Mrs May is also expected to call for a change in attitudes towards people living in social housing.

“Whether it is owned and managed by local authorities, TMOs [tenant management organisations] or housing associations, I want to see social housing that is so good people are proud to call it their home… Our friends and neighbours who live in social housing are not second-rate citizens.”

Outside of London, the money will be distributed through Homes England. 

The funding (outside of London), will be distributed through Homes England. The agency’s chief executive Nick Walkley welcomed the additional funding and added: “This is good news for the housing association sector and continues the Homes England commitment to strategic partnerships that increase housing supply.”

Responding to the announcement, Local Government Association chair Lord Porter (Con) said: “Our national housing shortage is one of the most pressing issues we face. Any new access to funding for housing associations to employ more brickies and less bureaucrats and build more affordable homes is positive but does not go far enough.

“Homes for affordable and social rent are desperately needed across the country now, not in 2022, and the measures announced today fail to provide the funding certainty councils also need to play a leading role in solving our housing crisis.

“The prime minister is wrong to suggest that councils are not capable of building the new homes at scale without recognising they are being hamstrung by Treasury restrictions which prevent them from borrowing against their existing housing stock.”

Lord Porter added “the government’s renewed emphasis on social housing and its tenants must be backed up in the forthcoming spending review.”

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