Council grants to unlock affordable housing

Wandsworth Council is now offering grant funding to public and private sector developers to build affordable rent homes. Home builders can apply to the authority for a share of a £4m subsidy pot.

To qualify they must be able to show the grant will be used to provide additional homes for low cost rent over and above the number already funded and approved. The council would have the nomination rights for the new homes with priority going to Wandsworth residents who meet the local eligibility rules. The homes would be available on an affordable rent basis with tenancies of up to five years.

Home builders can use the grant to support a site purchase, to add extra affordable homes to an existing site or another approach which results in additional affordable properties being built. The flexible scheme allows the grant to be used as seed money to lever in additional financing from other sources.

Cllr Paul Ellis, council housing spokesman, said:

“This scheme is designed to unlock affordable housing developments which are just on the edge of viability. It will also serve to maximise the number of affordable homes built on local sites which have secure financing.

“Wandsworth residents will have up to 130 additional affordable rent homes to live in by the time the £4m pot is fully allocated. Priority for these new properties will go to local working households.

“The scheme is being part funded by right to buy sales – so as council housing tenants take a step into home ownership they provide money to build more affordable properties in the local area.”

The council is now asking for expressions on interest from home builders interested in the scheme. Funding is limited so early discussions are recommended. All bids will be subject to financial appraisal and due diligence and will be based on bridging a funding gap in order to increase delivery of low cost rent housing.

More about affordable housing in Wandsworth

Across Wandsworth there are more than 2,000 affordable homes in the pipeline, with around 1,600 on course to be ready within the next four years.

The council’s Hidden Homes initiative continues to deliver new homes from disused spaces like old laundry rooms and garages. Almost 250 have been built to date and we have helped several London boroughs copy the scheme. Plans are also being developed to deliver an additional 58 affordable rent homes on council owned sites in Nine Elms.

Information on home ownership options available to local people can be found at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/homeownership.