Loophole used to cut affordable housing – but does anybody think the Tories will cut the loophole and not the houses?

Developers are using viability assessments to reduce the number of affordable homes they are required to build.

It’s very simple: If you can’t make a profit building houses, don’t build houses. Get out of that game and let somebody else do it.

One way or another, houses need to be built. And if developers don’t want to be part of the solution to that, they’re part of the problem.

And we need to get rid of the problem.

Developers are managing to dodge building tens of thousands of affordable homes in rural areas where they are most needed because of a legal loophole in planning laws, according to research by the homeless charity Shelter and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

The findings of a hard-hitting report by the two organisations will place added pressure on the housing, communities and local government secretary, Sajid Javid, to announce a tightening of the rules in a speech he is to deliver on Monday on how to change planning rules to tackle the housing crisis.

While developers are required by local authorities to provide a proportion of affordable homes – often about 30% – in any new development, many use “viability assessments” to negotiate down the number by arguing that the requirement would adversely affect their profit margins.

Last year Shelter conducted research showing that the use of viability assessments in 11 local authorities across England contributed to 79% fewer affordable homes being built in urban areas of England than would have been if local rules had been followed to the letter.

Source: Loophole used to cut affordable housing in rural England – report | Politics | The Guardian

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3 thoughts on “Loophole used to cut affordable housing – but does anybody think the Tories will cut the loophole and not the houses?

  1. Growing Flame

    You make a good point about developers needing to get out of the business if they can’t/won’t build what we need. The same applies to other aspects of the economy. How many times are we told of declining areas in Britain having to “wait until the jobs come back” as if economic growth was like the rain or sunny weather , arriving by chance?

    I like to think that a Corbyn government would take control of the economy and direct investment where it is needed, not just hope that businessmen or banks spot a money-making opportunity for themselves and it just happens to be an area in need of jobs.

  2. NMac

    I don’t believe the evil Tory government has any intention of even trying to solve the homelessness crisis. If there is no money in it for them then they just aren’t interested.

  3. hugosmum70

    dunno how viable this would be but if they dont want to be a part of providing social housing with LA’s reaping the profits from rents, they could always form an housing association themselves, then rent a third of the houses built.out to tenants thus providing affordable social housing whilst having their grubby fingers in another pie and reaping the benefits of rents. as long as they accept housing benefit tenants

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