Friday, 25 November 2011

So do you want the houses built or not?


The National Housing Federation (Nat Fed) is in a funk about the government's housing strategy - no surprise there. But one of their worries is about the renegotiation of s106 agreements to reduce the proportion of "affordable" houses built as part of individual schemes:

The housing strategy, which Mr Cameron described as a ‘radical’ way to ‘get Britain building again’, estimates that there are 82,000 homes in stalled schemes across England which would benefit from renegotiation with developers.

Of these 82,000 homes, 16,000 would have been affordable, according to the National Housing Federation - the same number of homes the government hopes to see built through a separate £400 million ‘Get Britain building’ investment fund to kick-start frozen developments.

The NHF said the policy, which will undergo consultation, was likely to force councils to scrap affordable housing obligations to get stalled schemes moving.

The question - one that ministers have answered and the Nat fed hasn't - is do we want the stalled schemes unstalling or are we happy to wait until the market recovers enough for developers to recover the margin lost from having to build those "affordable" homes?

The ministers want the houses built. Does the Nat fed?


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