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Monday, August 28, 2017

The threat to affordable housing posed by Brexit

Community Housing Cymru (CHC), who represent registered social landlords in Wales, has raised legitimate concerns that Brexit could dent plans to build thousands of affordable homes in Wales. They say that uncertainty over the UK-EU relationship could lead to important funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to stall.

The BBC reports that CHC said it had been working to get long-term loans from the European Investment Bank worth more than £200m, so as to facilitate plans to build 13,000 affordable homes by 2021. Such borrowing would be at a low rate for as long as 30 years and would enable their members to build homes, take on apprentices and run training schemes:

Stuart Ropke, CHC chief executive, said the deal was almost across the line but has now faltered and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit was the reason.

He added: "There is no shortage of financial institutions who want to invest in what is a very successful sector but, what the EIB money would have done, those terms that were on offer - particularly the cost of funding - was very attractive.

"Those alternatives that are there will not be on such attractive terms - really, the impact of that is that millions of pounds will leave the sector."

Loans from the EIB are typically half the commercial rate, resulting in housing associations having more money to invest.

The EIB has injected more than £1bn into Wales in the past decade in sectors including social housing, energy, water and transport.

Although there may well be other ways to finance this house building, the stalling of talks over this loan is nevertheless a major blow to the housing sector. It is another reason why we need to rethink Brexit.
The planning rules need to be altered to allow small builders ,other organisations to be encouraged to build. Equally the way that big builders can get away by not building affordable houses the 'projects' they begin have to have a certain profit level should be altered.ere should be far more investigation into modular houseing. Both Europe and China use them. They are cheaper to build. therefore costs are lower. Our brainwashed obsessions with what constitutes a house. should be altered. Radical re-organisation of housing needs to be carried out.
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