Affordable housing

The Homes and Community Agency (HCA) are responsible for the delivery of affordable housing in the England.  The HCA have responsibility for the Affordable Homes Programme and are control of £4.5 billion worth of investment, applicable for the period 2011-15.

However, HBF members are major providers of Affordable Housing in Britain through planning agreements (S106 agreements) on private housing sites.  In 2009/10 roughly 60% of affordable homes were delivered through section 106 agreements.  The data can be found in the latest RICS report.

However the provision of affordable housing goes well beyond the Government's narrow definition of Affordable Housing in S106 agreements. House builders build a range of market housing at affordable prices, meeting the needs of young people and first-time buyers without any public subsidy. Some are also introducing their own financial packages to make housing more affordable, again without public subsidy.

In the longer-term, the real issue is how to make housing more affordable across the market. This can only be achieved by significantly increasing the supply of new homes, which in turn will require a very substantial increase in the amount of land coming through the planning system for residential development.

The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 now means developers can renegotiate the level of housing provided through a section 106 agreement.  The economic landscape has changed greatly and many section 106 agreements are now holding back development through making sites unviable.