Financing of new housing supply: terms of reference

06 September 2011

The Communities and Local Government Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into the financing of new housing supply.

The inquiry will focus on the steps which need to be taken by Government to ensure that the resources are available to enable the nation’s housing needs to be met. It will consider both the private sector, in the context of current and likely ongoing restrictions on the availability of mortgage finance, and social and affordable housing, particularly in the context of the Government’s Affordable Rent policy and the reduction in grant funding.

Written submissions are accordingly invited from interested parties addressing some or all of the following issues:

  • How and where the more limited capital and revenue public subsidy can best be applied to provide the biggest return on the investment, in housing supply terms;
  • What the role is of state lending or investment, as opposed to grant funding, and the appropriate balance between them;
  • What the role is of the public sector in providing support in kind—for example land or guarantees—as opposed to cash, and what the barriers are to this happening;
  • How long-term private finance, especially from large financial institutions, could be brought into the private and social rented sectors, and what the barriers are to that happening;
  • How housing associations and, potentially, ALMOs might be enabled to increase the amount of private finance going into housing supply;
  • How the reform of the council Housing Revenue Account system might enable more funding to be made available for housing supply;
  • How effective the Government’s ‘Affordable Rent’ proposals are likely to be in increasing the funds available for new housing supply, and how sustainable this might be over the medium to long term. Memoranda addressing any or all of these issues, in accordance with the guidelines set out below, are invited by Friday 21 October 2011.

Each submission should

  1. be no more than 4,000 words in length;
  2. begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
  3. be in Word format (no later than 2007) with as little use of colour or logos as possible; and
  4. be accompanied by a covering letter containing the name and contact details of the individual or organisation submitting evidence.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and marked "New Housing".

It is helpful, for Data Protection purposes, for contact details not to be included in the text of submissions, but sent separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Guide for written submissions to Select Committees 

Please also note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work may be included.
  • Memoranda submitted should be kept confidential until formally accepted by the Committee. The Committee has authorised the publication by witnesses of their evidence, but such publication should await the formal acknowledgement of acceptance of the submission as evidence to the Committee.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

Image: iStockphoto 

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