The Government has announced further details of a new scheme that will allow housing associations and councils to offer flexible tenancies. From 2011, social landlords will have an “Affordable Rent” option, through which they can offer fixed-term tenancies to new tenants at up to 80% of local rent levels. However, the new tenancies can only be offered in return for “investment agreements” with the government, which should enable social landlords to raise funds to build more affordable housing.
Around £2 billion of government funding will be available to support the scheme during the first four years. Where an Affordable Rent tenancy is not renewed at the end of the fixed term, the landlord will need to provide advice and assistance to help the tenant find suitable alternative accommodation.
In addition, Affordable Rent tenancies will be for new tenants only; the lifetime tenancies and succession rights of existing council and housing association tenants will not be affected by the new measures, which will form part of the Localism Bill.