Government tells councils to allow developers to defer affordable housing obligations
Harlow Council / Wed 13th May 2020 at 10:44am
NEW government guidance issued today advises councils to consider letting “small and medium-sized [SME] developers” defer their Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) obligations.
Section 106 and CIL are conditions built into planning permissions to ensure that a portion of profits made through development are channelled into benefitting the local area.
The former is usually delivered in the form of affordable housing which is then purchased by social landlords, though in lieu payments are also sometimes agreed which can be used for new homes or other public services such as education and transport.
CIL is a charge paid by developers designed to fund the roads, schools, doctors’ surgeries and parkland needed to support new housing.
The new guidance encourages councils “to consider whether it would be appropriate to allow the developer to defer delivery” of Section 106 obligations triggered during the pandemic.
It is not clear whether the advice applies only to in lieu payments or to delivering affordable homes.
Bearing in mind that house building companies made between them billions of pounds profit and have really only closed sites for about 8 weeks, I hope our Labour Council sticks to it's target of 30% of new homes being 'affordable'. This guidance from a Tory Government shows that they are hand in hand with these building firms and that all this house building is all about housing greed, not housing need.
Totally agree with comment from Tenpin. The lock-down has been hard on everyone especially those living in poor standard accommodation. Think of the people locked down in the "Units" at Terminus House, the old IDV offices in Templefields and similar elsewhere in the town. To reduce the supply of social housing reduces potential for people to move on from these awful supposed temporary homes. Developers should be made to stick to original agreements on building social housing. If the present circumstances have curtailed their resources they should build the social housing commitments first. Lets hope that in the longer term housing costs can be suppressed along with the virus.