Housing Corporation grant and affordable housing in London
Our report found the allocation of Housing Corporation Grant, and the provision of affordable homes for rent and low cost ownership, massively varies between London boroughs.
Under the rules for receiving Housing Corporation Grant, boroughs can access new housing in any borough in their sub region. This means less proactive boroughs can export their needy residents to neighbouring boroughs that are working hard to increase the quantity of affordable housing in the capital. The information disclosed by boroughs, however, makes it difficult to assess the extent to which this happens, but highlights a vacuum in planning for Londoners’ housing needs.
The report found housing for rent, built without Housing Corporation funds, is exempt from inter-borough sharing of nominations. This may create an incentive for boroughs to avoid grant and can mean that less affordable housing is provided in some areas of greatest need, such as Docklands.
The report recommends that there be a review of the process for nominations to places in new affordable housing, with possibly a greater proportion of nominations for host boroughs, and that the opportunity for Londoners to move to housing being built in growth areas outside of London needs to be developed. The report also recommends:
- There is a need for better integration of the National Affordable Housing Programme by opening up opportunities for Londoners to access new affordable housing in the growth areas in the south east of England
- Closer integration between housing and planning strategies is necessary so that housing need and regeneration principles are not working against each other
- There is a need for a better system of auditing land sales which can be used to distort land values used in the calculation of Housing Corporation Grant.