Ministers have announced that the Affordable Homes Programme is to be extended by one year, to March 2023.
Homes to be built under the scheme originally needed shovels to be in the ground by March 2022.
However, today’s announcement means that housing associations and councils have a year longer to begin building these homes while still receiving government support.
This extension applies to homes which are in contract to be delivered by the current £9bn programme.
The announcement follows confirmation last week that the new £12bn Affordable Homes Programme – which will start next year – will support up to 180,000 new affordable homes, including for shared ownership and social rent.
The announcement also follows news last month that planning permission deadlines will be extended.
Planning permission usually expires after three years if work has not started onsite. Sites with consent that have an expiry date between the start of lockdown and the end of this year will see their consent extended to 1 April 2021.
The government estimates that by the end of June alone, more than 400 residential permissions providing more than 24,000 new homes would have expired. The extension of planning permission deadlines will help these developments and more to resume as the economy recovers.
‘Today I am announcing that we are giving more flexibility to housing associations and councils to help them deliver affordable homes. We’ve listened closely to the sector and agreed that there will now have a longer deadline for using government funding to get these homes built,’ said housing secretary, Robert Jenrick.
‘Building the homes the country needs is central to the mission of this government as we prioritise uniting and levelling up the country.’
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