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Social Housing Finance for Housing the Poor

13 October, 2017



Social Housing Finance for Housing the Poor ?

Copyright 2006 Vincent Wilmot

The need for affordable housing for the relatively poor.

In many countries, including the UK and USA, acceptable housing
cannot be afforded by lower-income families unless subsidised
rent ‘affordable housing’ or ‘social housing’ is made available.
Developers of new social housing face the financial problem of
somehow subsidising their rents, as with housing grants or maybe
using cheaper prefabricated housing.

Rent Subsidy Grants.

The USA and some other countries subsidise affordable housing
only with rent subsidy grants, for which there may often be
severe competition.

Housing Development Grants.

In other countries like the UK new social housing is subsidised
chiefly by up front development grants. There the main grant
funders now favour fewer bigger developers, and there is
increasing grant bidding competition for such housing
development grants.

Bidding for Housing Grants.

Affordable housing developers need successful bidding strategies
for grant applications, and they often need to be appropriate to
changing bidding situations. Needed new affordable housing or
‘social housing’ will generally only be developed if the
developers, subsidy providers and all others involved are
satisfied that a proposed new development project is financially
viable and is good value for money – as well as being for needed
housing.

Demand for Social Housing.

Some areas of a country may get excessive demand for affordable
housing while others get unsustainable low demand. This can
happen when social rents are set way below low-market rents in
some areas and close to low-market rents in other areas –
especially when low-income families face relocation difficulty
that prevents natural market corrections from working.

Social Exclusion in Social Housing.

Social housing development for the poor will tend towards
concentrating unemployed, welfare dependant and problem families
in a disadvantaged socially excluded sub-society. And this often
involves housing problems for the landlord which can include
non-sustainability – needing appropriate social inclusion
strategies.

Social housing developers will generally need some good
financial calculation system for new project appraisal – often
an appropriate Excel calculator spreadsheet. And other
calculator spreadsheets may have other uses, as to help show if
prospective tenants can afford a particular property. These
systems may be developed in-house, but can often be developed
much more cheaply by a specialist.

About the author:

Vincent Wilmot currently lives in Grimsby UK and has several


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