CLG has published the summary of responses to its consultation on the definition of the new affordable rent tenure and, with it, a revised definition: "Rented housing let by registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable rent is not subject to the national rent regime but is subject to other rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80 per cent of the local market rent.
The consultation was strictly limited to reviewing this definition only, but the summary of responses acknowledges that some respondents are keen to see a review of the entire affordable housing definition as set out in PPS3. We are told that for that we shall have to await the forthcoming National Planning Policy Framework.
Some responses also sought clarity on how the introduction of the new affordable rent tenure will affect existing section 106 agreements. CLG says "We expect that local planning authorities will use this change to the definition as a material consideration when considering planning applications and in their own policy making" - consistent with the localism agenda. It is suggested, however, that some LPAs will wish to consider if and how renegotiation of existing planning obligations will enable the conversion of existing social rent properties to affordable rent. This, of course, will depend on how attractive local authorities find the new tenure and our anecdotal evidence is that it is not drawing much interest. Do you have experience to support or challenge that view?