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Theresa May pledges £2bn for new social housing

Theresa May has announced £2bn of funding for housing associations to build new social housing.

She made the announcement this morning (September 19) at the National Housing Federation summit in London.

‘I can announce that new longer-term partnerships will be opened up to the most ambitious housing associations through a ground-breaking £2bn initiative,’ she said.

‘Under the scheme, associations will be able to apply for funding stretching as far ahead as 2028/29 – the first time any government has offered housing associations such long-term certainty.

‘Doing so will give you the stability you need to get tens of thousands of affordable and social homes built where they are needed most, and make it easier for you to leverage the private finance you need to build many more.’

The Prime Minister also believes the fund will help build better quality homes and reduce the ‘stigma’ of social housing, which has left tenants ‘ashamed to share the fact that their home belongs to a housing association or local authority.’

‘On the outside, many people in society – including too many politicians – continue to look down on social housing and, by extension, the people who call it their home,’ she added.

Responding to the speech, Labour’s shadow housing minister, John Healey, said the reality is spending on new affordable homes has been ‘slashed’ so the number of new social rented homes built last year fell to the lowest level since records began.

‘If Conservative ministers are serious about fixing the housing crisis they should back Labour’s plans to build a million genuinely affordable homes, including the biggest council house-building programme for over 30 years,’ he added.

However, the Prime Minister’s announcement was welcomed by the social housing sector.

Yorkshire Housing chief executive Mervyn Jones said: ‘The Prime Minister has recognised the leading role housing associations can play in fixing the broken housing market and the extra funding is welcome.

‘Yorkshire Housing is building more homes than ever and with government help we can do more, especially for those people with the least choice in the housing market.

‘We can give everyone the opportunity to live in a quality home they can afford.’

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