Tough bidding rules set for £1.8bn pot
Landlords have been set strict criteria for applying for cash under the government’s new affordable rent programme.
The Communities and Local Government department has published details of how it intends to allocate remaining uncommitted funding over the next five years.
A total of £1.8 billion is available for affordable rent and affordable home ownership with a further £410 million for mortgage rescue, empty homes, homelessness and traveller pitch funding.
Landlords wishing to apply for funding will have to submit a bid for the duration of the four-year programme, outlining how many homes they can provide and of what tenure, as well as the expected additional borrowing capacity, cross-subsidy and the number and location of re-lets to be converted.
They will also have to submit information about their finances and demonstrate how their plans meet local needs. Plans must also offer good value for money and have a realistic prospect of succeeding. They must also must meet local priorities and attract the support of councils.
Landlords signing a contract for £3 million or more must publish all spend relating to their affordable rent schemes of more than £500 quarterly.
Funding requests are expected to be for the ‘minimum necessary’ for delivery to be viable.
Successful landlords will enter into a four-year framework contract, with payment by results at the end of the programme.
Applicants do not have to be registered with social housing regulator the Tenant Services Authority to apply.
Rents are expected to be set at 80 per cent of market rent, including service charges. Funding for social rented housing will only be granted in exceptional cases, where the landlord can demonstrate affordable rent would not be viable.
Landlords will be required to enter into a separate contract for funding for programmes in London.
Applicants will have until 3 May to submit their bids, with the first contracts signed in July.