Government releases £886m for councils to build 200,000 homes

February 1, 2018 / Isla MacFarlane
Government releases £886m for councils to build 200,000 homes

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that 133 council-led projects across the country will receive funding to support local work that will make housing developments viable and get much-needed homes built quicker.

Grant Lipton, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, said, “Homes cannot be built out without the schools, roads and essential utilities that we need for life. This policy will help us deliver the infrastructure that we need, and so set the scenes for housing development. Importantly, this is being delivered at the local level using the localised knowledge of authorities to provide what people need, in innovative ways. The next step would be to spend to increase investment on larger infrastructure projects as we need to improve connectivity in our cities, from within and between them.”

This first wave of funding from the £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will finance local infrastructure projects including new roads, cycle paths, flood defences and land remediation work ahead of building the homes.

Without this financial support, these projects would struggle to go ahead or take years for work to begin, delaying the homes these communities need.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said, “Today marks the first step of the multi-billion pound investment we announced at the Budget to help build the homes our country needs.

“This fund finances vital infrastructure such as roads, schools and bridges, which will kick-start housing development in some of Britain’s highest-demand areas.”

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid added, “Our priority is building the homes this country desperately needs. This first wave of investment totalling £866 million will help get up to 200,000 homes off the ground, making a huge difference to communities across the country.

“This is just one of the many ways this government is taking action to get Britain building homes again.”

Projects from County Durham to Cornwall will receive funding including:

  • £10 million for highway infrastructure to unlock further development at the Ashton Green housing site in Leicester, helping to unlock 3,300 homes;
  • £10 million for construction of a bypass in Botley, Hampshire, a critical strategic road infrastructure project that will help unlock the delivery of 1,000 new homes;
  • £3.6 million for drainage works, new roads and footpaths at the Manor Cluster, south-east Sheffield to help unlock more than 400 homes by 2025;
  • £6.5 million to help build a new primary school as part of the Ilfracombe Southern Extension in North Devon. This will help unlock 750 new homes;
  • The £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund is a government capital grant programme to help unlock new homes in areas with the greatest housing demand. Funding is awarded to local authorities on a highly competitive basis.

The fund is divided into two streams:

  • A Marginal Viability Fund – available to all single and lower tier local authorities in England – to provide a piece of infrastructure funding to get additional sites allocated or existing sites unblocked quickly. Bids can be up to £10 million.
  • A Forward Fund – available to the uppermost tier of local authorities in England – for a small number of strategic and high-impact infrastructure projects. Bids can be up to £250 million.

The government will be progressing Forward Funding projects to go through to co-development in the coming weeks, with final funding announced from Autumn 2018.

Today’s announcement forms part of the government’s Industrial Strategy which sets out a long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.

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