Double or Quits - new research released


09 September 2020

IMAGE: An aerial image showing roads and homesDoubling the duration of Affordable Homes Programmes could have a ‘transformative effect’ on the number of homes built by housing associations, new research has revealed.

The research has been commissioned by the CASE group of housing associations, the National Housing Federation and Shelter.

We're a member of CASE and the research was initiated by Paul Hackett, our Chief Executive.

Double or Quits by the UCL’s Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management shows government’s stop-start approach to grant funding has limited the number of affordable homes housing associations have been able to build.

This major new piece of research shows doubling the duration of government funding programmes from five years to ten would facilitate a significant increase in the supply of affordable housing.

The Affordable Homes Programme – government’s principal method for grant funding new affordable housing – has typically lasted for three to five years, offering housing associations only short-term certainty over the availability of grant.

Successive programmes have had widely differing levels of overall funding, funding per home and the selection of tenures for which grant is available.

This lack of predictability has inevitably contributed to a more cautious approach by housing associations when it comes to building their development pipelines and limited the number of affordable homes they have been able to deliver.

Amongst other things, it has affected their land purchasing behaviours, the nature of sites they have taken forward and their ability to collaborate with others. This has been reflected in pronounced peaks and troughs in delivery, which have had knock-on consequences for development costs, build-quality and the productivity of the housebuilding industry.

Double or Quits shows a move to longer-term funding, specifically doubling the duration of Affordable Homes Programmes from five years to ten, would address these problems. If administered flexibly and backed up by a significant increase in funding for social housing.

You can read the full report here.