Stonewater bids for share of HCA Affordable Homes programme funding

Leading social and affordable housing provider Stonewater is hoping to secure funding from the next round of grant funding being allocated by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) under its Shared Ownership Affordable Homes 2016-2021 programme. The HCA is making £4.7 billion of capital grant available to housing associations and private builders and developers to help deliver a minimum of 153,000 affordable homes in England over the next five years.

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If successful, Stonewater will use the money to help support the investment it is making in building new affordable homes. The funding bid is for the development of 484 new affordable homes as part of Stonewater’s wider development programme. The properties will be a mix of 300 Help to Buy: shared ownership homes, 169 Rent to Buy properties and 15 specialised rental homes for vulnerable people.

“We plan to invest nearly £400 million in the creation of new affordable homes across a wide range of tenures over the next five years,” says Nicholas Harris, Stonewater Chief Executive Designate. “This investment aims to help hard-working people who are struggling to access the housing market and to secure a new home of their own. We expect to deliver around 2,765 homes over the period.”

Stonewater’s shared ownership homes start as low as £50,000 for a 40% share depending on their geographic location. Buyers will be able to purchase up to 75% of the property initially, paying rent on the remaining equity, with the option to own their home outright over time. The Rent to Buy properties - offered on short-term tenancies at below market rents – aim to help working people finding it difficult to afford local house prices to save for a deposit and buy the property they are living in.

“This additional funding support from the HCA would give a significant boost to our shared ownership housing development programme, enabling Stonewater to use the money to build more low-cost homeownership homes in areas of the country where they are most needed,” says Nicholas Harris. “It will also help us provide much-needed specialist supported housing which is a vital part of our social purpose.”

Stonewater currently owns and manages over 30,000 homes across England. Last year the housing provider delivered 650 new homes. It expects to exceed this number during 2016/17.