Robert Jenrick Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government announced this week that the deadline by which start on site must occur in order for grant to be successfully claimed under the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme (SOAHP) is to be extended by 12 months from end of March 2022 to end of March 2023.
Delays caused by Covid-19 had meant that large numbers of developments had been put at risk because of construction being suspended on most sites during the height of the Covid crisis in the country. As a result, the deadline for drawdown of March 2022 was clearly not going to be achievable for many housing associations and that in turn threatened the viability of projects being developed under the SOAHP programme. Estimates suggest as many as 53,000 newly affordable homes have been held up by Covid-19.
Following requests from the sector for confirmation that the extension to start on site would be made , the Housing Secretary made the announcement confirming agreement.