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The Affordable Housing Fund: Local Solutions to the National Housing Crisis Current

IPPR North , devolution and localism , housing , local government

 

 

The aim of this project is to identify the scope for giving local authorities the ability to respond more flexibly to their unique local housing needs by enabling them to transfer revenue spending to capital investment, and to take these models to central government.

The project is designed to explore the implementation of the Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) at the local authority level. The AHF was developed last year in ‘Together at Home’ and is a model of devolved local authority control over housing funding. We are looking to explore with individual local authorities the opportunity to implement this new model. 

Using information from DCLG, the DWP, the NHF, and local authority Housing Revenue Accounts, the project is developing a series of model budgets unique to a local authority area to allow for shifting from revenue spending to capital investment.

Building on the model budget, it will develop a number of implementation plans at both full and pilot-scale, for interested local authorities and city regions. These will identify the key mechanisms that need to be in place to get the proposal operational, while also identifying key milestones to represent successful implementation.

These plans will be worked through with local authorities to identify further challenges to implementation, and will consider the investment strategy, the volume of construction demanded, the types of homes to be built, the per unit costs; but also the revenue side – will the local authority continue with a Housing Benefit rent subsidy? What will happen to public housing tenure? With those questions addressed, the project implementation plans will be refined and taken to government.

There are currently funding opportunities available to support this work, if you are interested please email w.davies@ippr.org.