In a remarkable achievement for the affordable housing sector in the UK, Homes England has reported a steady progress in their annual performance with over 36,478 new homes beginning construction and nearly 33,000 homes completed between April 2022 and March 2023. The Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme (SOAHP) of 2016-21 is on track to exceed its ambitious target of delivering 130,000 new affordable homes.
Despite a challenging economic environment affecting the housebuilding industry at large, the affordable home sector has shown remarkable resilience. This can be attributed to strategic planning by housebuilders combined with increased effectiveness of government programmes such as the Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) of 2021-26.
The SOAHP is set to outperform its objective with an impressive tally of started homes reaching 126,800 by the end of March. Additional starts are expected in the coming year bringing total estimates close to an extra 5,000 homes under this programme.
For affordable housing that commenced within this period, over three-quarters (78%) were categorised as ‘Affordable Homes’, indicating an increase from last year’s figures. Of all completions during this term approximately 71% were dedicated to affordable homes.
Even amidst challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic and market instability which necessitated extensions till March 2023 for some programmes, these numbers underscore efforts towards ensuring stability within this sector.
Though there was a slight decrease in completions compared to previous years due to natural reductions towards end cycle of certain programmes, it is anticipated that these figures will improve as completions from AHP start building up.
Peter Denton, Chief Executive at Homes England praised his partners’ resilience and determination in overcoming unprecedented obstacles. He credits them with creating more than 130,000 new high-quality affordable homes across various regions in the country.
Denton acknowledged that housebuilding continues to face challenges due to rising costs and material availability amongst other issues hindering investment into new projects. However he remains optimistic about surmounting these hurdles through collaboration with partners and DLUHC (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) towards supporting delivery of quality new affordable homes.
To further bolster support for affordable housing providers, Homes England recently announced that grant funding provided through AHP can now be used not only for building new but also revamping existing affordable homes as part of larger estate regeneration plans – reinforcing their commitment towards enhancing housing supply.
This promising trajectory sets Homes England firmly on path towards achieving their goals—providing many more families with places they’re proud to call home.