What do the affordable housing numbers tell us about delivery?

Keynote speaker

  • Helen Hodgson, Director – Housing Communities and Local Government Value for Money, National Audit Office

To set the scene for the day, Helen Hodgson ran through the key points of NAO’s analysis of  government figures for the Affordable Homes Programme from their recent report.

Under the 2016 programme, DLUHC forecasts that it will achieve 96% of its 250,000 homes target for housing starts, but some of these homes will not be completed until 2023. But under the 2021 programme, just 157,000 of the 180,000 homes target look to be completed by 2029.

In London, the GLA has only been able to allocate funding for 325 new supported homes out of a target of 3,500. This is largely due to concerns over associated funding to deliver the support specialist housing requires.

Savings in housing benefit compared with the grant funding needed to deliver a new home for social rent are much higher in the capital. Over a 60-year period in London, savings in housing benefit spent are expected to exceed the grant funding needed to deliver new homes for social rent.

Delivery has been hit by supply shortages, cost inflation, planning authority resources and labour shortages, to name a few. Grant funding levels are also affected by significant uncertainty, changes to shared ownership and net zero targets.

“There is a divide between how different housing providers can handle these challenges,” explained Helen. The government has been advised to develop internal contingency plans in response to risks like rising construction costs to make sure it can fully meet programme objectives.

NAO also recommends that DLUHC make the most of partnership working and collaboration before the next Affordable Homes Programme.

View Helen’s slides here.


Affordable Housing: Overcoming crisis through collaboration is a cross-sector research and events programme that aims to make practical recommendations.

Contact Anna Odedun, Head of Knowledge, to get involved. Thanks to project sponsors Countryside, Montagu Evans, Pollard Thomas Edwards, Potter Raper and Trowers and Hamlins, and our conference sponsors Altair, Inner Circle Consulting and Big Society Capital.