Affordable rent housing schemes in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire could be withdrawn, mayoral authority admits

Cllr Ed Murphy
Cllr Ed Murphy
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Five housing schemes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with affordable rent could be withdrawn.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CA) said government legislation appears to have “inadvertently overlooked” the fact it cannot fund affordable rent schemes. Therefore, providers of 50 affordable rent homes due to be completed soon may “decide to withdraw those schemes,” the CA said.

Affordable rent can only be used where accommodation has been supplied under an agreement between the provider and either Homes England or the Greater London Authority. However, the CA does not manage housing programmes via Homes England like similar bodies.

The CA said: “We are in ongoing positive discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to seek a change to the existing legislation. We are confident MHCLG will support a solution, but in the meantime there is no risk to homes not being completed, or any families expecting to move in being affected.”

The affected schemes have not been revealed by the CA.

Cllr Ed Murphy, a Peterborough city councillor who sits on the CA’s scrutiny committee, said: “I would ask that these properties are converted to social housing immediately and financed by the combined authority which is a legal way of doing things.

“This will help create some new tenancies in Peterborough with fairer rents and relieve the misery of homelessness for some families on the waiting list or in expensive emergency accommodation.”