The council’s plan to build new homes for Enfield looks set to slow down due to the coronavirus pandemic and Government funding changes.

The number of affordable homes provided by the council is expected to drop from 3,804 to 3,561 and be delivered over a 15-year period instead of 10 years.

It was revealed in an update to the housing revenue account business plan that was presented to the finance and performance scrutiny panel on Wednesday.

Delivering new affordable homes – partly by regenerating estates – is a key priority for Enfield Council, which has around 4,000 households on its housing waiting list.

Speaking at the meeting, council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan said the economic instability caused by the pandemic and the loss of income had put pressure on the council’s finances.

But she added that the most significant factor was a Government announcement that grant funding would only be available for new council housing. In Enfield, part of the council’s plan involves replacing existing homes on estates such as Joyce Avenue and Snell’s Park in Edmonton.

Cllr Caliskan said: “We are, politically, still very committed to doing that, which is why there is a flurry of activity to recalibrate, if you like, how we can meet those ambitions.”

Joanne Drew, director of housing and regeneration, revealed the changes had led to a £400 million reduction in grant funding for the Joyce and Snell’s scheme, which would make regeneration “much, much harder”.

The new arrangements would also involve a reduced rent level, which would be “good for residents, good for our affordability agenda, but generates less revenue for the business plan”, she added.

Ms Drew said new shared ownership products would not provide the council with a cross-subsidy for social housing.

“We have acute pressures in Enfield and a huge demand for social housing, so we are looking at every way that we can keep that development programme running,” she said.

Cllr Caliskan told the meeting the funding formula could be different in 12 months’ time, but the council had to plan for the worst-case scenario. She said the council would continue to lobby the Greater London Authority and the Government for funding for affordable housing.