The TCPA has published a report which includes the findings of a major project, supported by the Nationwide Foundation, on how councils are taking innovative new approaches to secure affordable housing.

The ten-month project is the result of seminars, round tables, a survey and workshops with pilot councils, which have each looked to identify, analyse and transfer knowledge on new ways of securing affordable homes. The TCPA has engaged with more than 200 representatives from over 130 councils, including officers and councillors responsible for housing, planning, regeneration, asset management, economic development and finance..

The final report includes a series of recommendations for government about how they can support council innovation.

We have also published a signposting guide which highlights resources, including tool kits, funding, case studies and statistics, which are available to help councils which are considering new models of delivery.

The main findings are:

  • Councils are responding to a lack of delivery by taking proactive new approaches to delivering homes - and there is appetite for them to do much more.
  • It is important to note that few of the new delivery vehicles that councils have set up to build new homes outside the HRA are delivering social-rent homes, despite this tenure being identified in the survey as the greatest need.
  • Some councils have developed ambitious Housing Revenue Account (HRA) development programmes, which have been constrained by their HRA borrowing caps but may now have
    more potential following the Autumn Budget announcements on lifting the caps ‘…in areas of high affordability pressure’.
  • Councils spoke about the impact of the current planning system, which is hindering the ability to secure affordable housing, particularly as a result of the viability test. While some councils can secure affordable housing from developers, others cannot.
  • Councils are taking varied approaches, identified in this report, to define affordability in their plans according to income levels rather than a proportion of market price.

To download the full report, click here.

To download the signposting guide, click here.

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