Shapps: interest in affordable rent exceeding 'wildest expectations'
The housing minister has said interest in the affordable rent programme from housing providers has exceeded his ‘wildest expectations’.
Speaking to the Local Government Association this morning (Thursday), Grant Shapps said bids had come from across ‘a pretty even spread’ of the country. The new regime would see housing associations charging up to 80 per cent of the market rent for their homes.
Critics have argued that this will make social housing too expensive in large urban areas such as London, especially as new housing benefit caps will limit payments to £400 per week for larger houses.
‘Expressions of interest have exceeded my wildest expectations and some of the soothsayers who said it won’t work in certain parts of the country are about to be proved wrong,’ Mr Shapps said. ‘We really believe this is a breakthrough moment for housing in this country.’
Mr Shapps also told councillors not to let bureaucracy steer them off course as they try to implement greater town hall autonomy.
‘The government have been bamboozling you with googlies,’ he said, ‘and it’s made it impossible for you to do your job. The Localism Bill will fundamentally shift the balance of power in this country.’
‘It is councillors who have the democratic mandate to make decisions in the best interests of their communities. So I urge them to keep up the good work and seize this opportunity to set the right course for their local area, and break free from the red tape and bureaucratic control that has kept them in the slow lane for so long.’