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HCA invites bids for affordable homes programme

Housing associations in the UK are being invited to bid for a share of around £800 million of government funding to provide more affordable housing.The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has made the investment available through the second round of its Affordable Homes Programme.Allocations were made for 2,697 schemes during the first round of the initiative and these are set to provide 43,821 new affordable homes. The new financial support builds on the £886 million made available in the first round and takes the total amount of government investment to more than £1.7 billion for 2015 to 2018. Added to private finance, it will result in £23 billion of support.Since 2010, the coalition has provided 204,000 new affordable homes and has sought to promote innovative construction methods, such as advanced manufacturing techniques, to ensure enough of the properties are built.Housing minister Brandon Lewis said: "Our latest investment is a clear sign of the government's continued commitment to increasing the overall housing supply and affordable housing in particular. "As well as building homes, this funding is also a key part of our long-term economic plan, creating construction jobs as we deliver a further 165,000 new affordable homes from 2015."Mr Lewis added that there will not be a fixed deadline for applications - housing associations will be able to apply for funding at any time. As a result, schemes that require a longer lead time will be able to be brought forward for delivery during the 2015 to 2018 period, such as those for specialist, supported or rural housing.The Affordable Homes Programme includes affordable rented homes and affordable home ownership schemes. Tenures will include both general needs housing and other types of specialist properties (for example, supported housing).Rigorous assessments will be carried out on all submissions, based on meeting local priorities, value for money and deliverability. 

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