Response to government planning proposals

06 August 2020

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said:

"We welcome the government's ambition to build high-quality, sustainable homes and communities. We look forward to working with the government to shape the proposals and deliver the high-quality social housing the country desperately needs. We also welcome the ambition to get homes built more quickly, particularly given the positive impact this will have for the economy and jobs.

"However, they are proposing to scrap the policy which requires private developers to build a certain amount of social homes in every new development - so-called 'Section 106 agreements'. These are the single biggest contribution to building new affordable homes in the country - last year, Section 106 agreements delivered almost 28,000 affordable homes, about half of the total. This policy also helps ensure that every town and community across the country is made up of people on different incomes, living in a range of homes.

"Any alternative to section 106 must ensure we can deliver more high quality affordable homes to meet the huge demand across the country. Any new system must also enable the 'levelling up' of communities that have already been left behind, such as rural communities or places with a struggling local economy.

"We must also remember that​, ultimately, the best way of ensuring we build ​enough social housing is through direct investment from the government."

Further information

  • The government's Housing White Paper proposes scrapping developer contributions, so-called 'Section 106 agreements', which are one of the main sources of affordable homes.
  • Last year, our member housing associations built around 39,000 affordable homes - more than two-thirds of the total. 54% of these were delivered through Section 106 agreements.
  • Our research shows the country needs 90,000 new social homes every year. This will be even harder to reach if Section 106 agreements are scrapped without a robust alternative, such as direct investment in social housing.
  • It could also make it harder to meet the government's own housing need target (300,000 homes per year) - the Letwin Review found that building affordable housing also encouraged homes for sale on the private market to be built more quickly.

Who to speak to

Press office