Cuts Watch #59: more on housing cuts
The Coalition’s planned changes in planning law, together with the cuts in housing funding could reduce the number of social homes by two thirds to 20,390.
The National Housing Federation – widely respected as the representative organisation for housing associations and other social housing providers – has warned that the planned £100 million cut in the National Affordable Housing Programme will cost 1,453 homes.
The NHF also warns that the government is planning to axe “planning gain”, also known as “section 106” agreements. In these agreements, developers pay for affordable and social housing in return for planning permission. NHF warns that 40% of all new affordable homes are built on this basis and this change could cost 19,000 social homes this year. The re-designation of gardens from brownfield to greenfield could cost another 10,000. The abolition of regional targets for affordable housing will almost certainly lead to a further reduction, but the NHF has not given a figure for this.
Last week, Nicola reported the threat to the Supporting People budget for housing support for vulnerable people. The National Housing Federation has also warned that these budgets could be threatened by the cuts in the local government support grant. The DCLG cuts included £30 million from the Supporting People administration grant and £49 million from the Working Neighbourhoods fund. Supporting People is not ring-fenced and comes under the area based grants system, so these cuts may nudge local authorities into seeing it as a source for the £446 million cuts they have to make under this heading.