Housing professionals offer innovative solutions as funding is squeezed
Members of the UK Housing Panel address the major risk to the sector of funding cuts with proposals for new ways to deliver affordable housing in the latest report published today (18 June).
The panel of 280 members of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) in the UK, which reports quarterly on key housing statistics and trends, has identified the impact of the deficit reduction measures and funding and grant reductions as the biggest risks facing their organisations in the next twelve months. 35 per cent of members said that the government’s deficit reduction measures were one of the main three risks and 34 per cent identified funding and grant reductions as a major risk to their ability to provide affordable housing over the next 12 months.
In addition, one fifth (21 per cent) of UK Housing Panel members identified political change and uncertainty as one of the three biggest risks they faced, closely followed by the availability and cost of private finance and reductions to Supporting People funding (20 per cent).
A further 16 per cent identified the risk of changes to the regulatory system, including scrapping the Tenant Services Authority, to the sector’s credit ratings and ability to borrow at affordable rates.
Respondents to the survey are clear, however, that new and innovative ways of delivering new affordable housing have to be developed in the face of the public and private funding squeeze. These include creative use of public land, local housing trusts, investment in more intermediate rent products and supporting new joint venture arrangements to spread risk.
Sarah Webb, CIH Chief Executive said: “This new report underlines the concerns expressed UK-wide by housing professionals about the potential impact of reductions in public and private funding on their ability to deliver new homes and excellent services to tenants as well as wariness about possible policy directions. Most importantly, though, it shows the readiness of the housing sector to meet head on the challenges it faces and its commitment to change, innovation and improvement in the sector. The Housing Pact that we will present to the Housing Minister Grant Shapps at our annual UK conference on 24 June will demonstrate this further.”