The Department for Communities has published a new affordable housing policy which aims to create an additional supply of ‘Intermediate Rent’ homes, providing a new affordable housing option.
The Intermediate Rent policy, which sets the framework for the development of more high quality, long-term, affordable housing with support services comes following a public consultation on the new Intermediate Rent policy, which gathered views on how this new housing product should work.
Intermediate Rent seeks to offer a more secure, affordable and supportive rental option for eligible households who are struggling with the costs of market rentals.
A spokesperson for the Department for Communities said: “The publication of the Intermediate Rent policy sets in place another lever to deliver an additional supply of affordable rental homes for low to moderate income households.
“The policy aims to reduce the barriers which some households face in accessing or maintaining a rented home, such as tenancy insecurity, limited support services and, critically, unaffordably high rents.”
Homes offered as Intermediate Rent will be delivered to a high quality standard and should offer effective and responsive maintenance to ensure tenants are able to avail of a good quality well-maintained home throughout their tenancy. The publication of a ‘Homes for Intermediate Rent: Design Standards' guide alongside the policy sets out the expected design and finish standards associated with Intermediate Rent homes.
Intermediate Rent is one of a range of measures aimed at increasing the supply of, and access to, affordable housing. The delivery of more affordable housing is a central tenet of the draft Housing Supply Strategy, forms part of a strategic objective within the Department’s 2022/23 Business Plan and was a priority for the former Minister. This new type of affordable housing can also contribute to supporting the delivery of affordable housing through Local Development Plans, which are being taken forward by councils.
Work continues to deliver a funding package which can support the practical delivery of a supply of new Intermediate Rent homes in the near future.
Notes to editors:
- The Intermediate Rent policy and ‘Homes for Intermediate Rent: Design Standards’ documents can be viewed at https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/articles/intermediate-rent
- Intermediate Rent tenancies are private rented tenancies; however they differ from open market private rented tenancies by offering additional benefits, including rents set at a level below what is available in the open private rented market. It is therefore referred to as a below market rent affordable housing option. All the rights and obligations in place in respect of any private tenancy apply to Intermediate Rent tenancies.
- The policy document outlines the ‘rules’ which a dwelling or tenancy must meet in order to be Intermediate Rent housing, who would be eligible for an Intermediate Rent home, and provides information for those interested in the development of Intermediate Rent homes whether it is delivered using the Department’s funding arrangements or it is funded outside those arrangements. A Departmental funding model is expected to follow the policy in due course.
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