Property peer-to-peer platforms have welcomed the government’s £12bn commitment to extend the Affordable Homes Programme.
In his first Budget, chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that the programme will be extended for another year with a £3bn increase on the current five-year Affordable Homes Programme which is due to end in 2021.
“It is very promising to see the chancellor pledging to invest further in the Affordable Homes Programme,” said Yann Murciano, chief executive at Blend Network.
“This is a welcome effort to address the UK’s housing crisis, but with one third of local authorities missing their housebuilding targets last year, it is clear that there is still need for a greater partnership between public and private funding in the housing sector.
“To ensure that we are building the homes people need, we need to continue attracting investment from private capital and ensuring that funding can be channelled through innovative and alternative platforms.”
“In principle affordable homes and supporting more affordable home building is very important to the country and that commitment that probably supports the supply of affordable schemes, can only be a good thing,” said Mike Bristow, co-founder and chief executive of CrowdProperty.
“But the devil is in the detail of how that gets into the hands of the people that are to build those affordable homes.”
Tom Slingsby, chief executive of property developer Southern Grove, which focuses heavily on creating affordable homes, also welcomed the initiative.
“This cash boost for affordable homes will underpin building for many years to come and is a declaration of war on a housing crisis that isn’t going away,” Slingsby said.
“Only sufficient provision of affordable homes in the right areas can prevent the sort of social inconsistencies that appear when high property prices put key areas of UK cities off limits to younger workers and their families.
“We know from conversations we have constantly with housing associations that the appetite is there to keep building through economic cycles and this fund will ensure that will happen.”
However, Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and sales agent Benham and Reeves, criticised the government for failing to deliver enough affordable homes.
“The coronavirus has been a justified but convenient smokescreen that has allowed the government to gloss over any real details on around fixing Britain’s broken housing market yet again.
“70,000 affordable homes targeted in high demand areas is admirable, along with proper funding for removing unsafe cladding and £650m to provide permanent dwellings for rough sleepers.
“However, not only is the latter long-overdue, it really fails to help the average homeowner and is nothing more than a hat-tip to the unnatural Conservative voter that government must keep onside.
“The industry will be familiarly unsurprised but disappointed all the same.
“The only silver lining is that we didn’t see the additional three percent stamp duty for foreign buyers announced, that would have kicked the chair from beneath an already fragile area of the London property market.”