15th August 2014
A lack of supply in the property market has pushed up house prices but the government is hoping to counter the problem with a £1 billion house-building project.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles has today published a shortlist of 36 large-scale housing projects that will receive £850 million of funding to get work going onsite.
The money will come from the government’s £1 billion, five-year large sites infrastructure programme and will not only be used to create 200,000 more homes but to build the infrastructure needed to support them, such as roads, schools and parks.
The shortlist includes the development of Greenwich Peninsula in London to provide 10,000 more homes, the redevelopment of former Rugby Radio Station to provide 6,200 homes and Festival Gardens development in Liverpool that will create 1,500 homes.
The £1 billion fund will also be used to give councils access to planning experts and technical support.
Pickles said: ‘This government’s long-term economic plan is getting Britain building again. Residential construction is now at it highest level since 2007 and continuing to rise, and 216,000 new homes were given planning permission last year.
‘We are supporting locally-led development, and this £1 billion programme will help unlock of accelerate over 200,000 new homes across the country. This is part of our wider package of housing programmes to support home ownership, increase investment in the private rented sector and further increase house building.’
The funding will be available between 2015 and 2020 and will be in the form of a long-term loan, which will be paid back with interest to ensure a fair rate of return for taxpayers.
Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘I am delighted that we have been able to put this extra £850 million into building more homes for families across the country.
‘This forms part of the government’s record investment in housing, which has already helped to get 450,000 new homes built over this parliament, and brought house-building back to its highest level for six years.’