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Affordable Housing – an update from Homes England

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Homes England

Homes England, the government’s housing and regeneration agency, offers guidance on specific topics affecting the housing sector through their New Homes Fact Sheets New Homes Fact Sheets. Their aim is to offer insight into the housing sector but also to help promote conversations about new homes and regeneration.

Homes England has recently released guidance on affordable housing New Homes fact sheet 9: What is affordable housing? –  which provides an overview of the types of affordable housing available in England and has made comments on why these homes are needed.

Homes England has made it clear that the affordability of housing in the UK has worsened significantly over the last 20 years. Data shows that in 2022, the median house price was £275,000 which shows a 169% increase from 2002, when the average price for a home was £102,000. The median salary has only increased by 60% during the same period.

To combat this ongoing issue, affordable housing is one of the solutions put into place by the Government in the hopes that it will help eliminate the housing crisis, reduce homelessness, and help individuals get onto the property ladder.

Who can gain access to affordable housing?

Affordable housing is aimed at anyone whose needs are not met by the private market and these include people who are on lower incomes, people with disabilities, and people who are buying their first homes. Housing can also be provided to those who are older and more vulnerable. The current Affordable Homes Programme 2021-2026 aims to deliver up to 180,000 affordable homes in the UK

Types of affordable housing:

In England, the types of affordable housing available include:

  1. Affordable/Intermediate Rent and Social Rent. These are generally provided by local authorities but would require individuals to show a local connection to the area.
  2. Homes provided with other affordable routes i.e. Shared Ownership
  3. Homes committed by developers to be sold at a discount i.e. the First Home Scheme, whereby homes are sold to first-time buyers below market value.

The majority of affordable housing is owned and managed by Housing Associations, For-Profit registered providers and Local Authorities. However, it can be seen that over the last five years, around half of all new affordable homes were made through developer contributions. This may be the result of the National Planning Policy Framework which requires developers of major residential developments to allocate more than 10% of new homes to affordable housing.

The Social Housing team at Wilson Browne Solicitors act for Housing Associations and developers who provide various types of affordable housing and so the guidance provides an interesting read and insight into the aims and goals of Homes England.

Hassan Karim


Hassan Karim

Trainee Solicitor

Hassan is a Paralegal in the Commercial Property Team at our Kettering office.