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£2.3bn infrastructure fund to ‘unlock 100,000 new homes’

  • 04/07/2017
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£2.3bn infrastructure fund to ‘unlock 100,000 new homes’
A £2.3bn fund for housing infrastructure has been launched today by communities secretary Sajid Javid.

The fund, announced at the Local Government Association’s annual conference in Birmingham, aims to unlock 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand.

The investment will help to fund physical infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, energy networks and other utilities. Bids open today for local authorities across England to come forward with proposals to help get homes built faster.

The Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) will also release funds to help build new schools, healthcare centres and digital infrastructure to accommodate growing communities and alleviate pressure on public services.

Once proposals have been approved, it is expected that local authorities would begin building the necessary infrastructure immediately and homes would follow quickly afterwards.

HIF is part of the government’s wider £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund, which targets spending on areas critical to boosting productivity, including on housing, transport and digital communications.

Javid said: “To build the homes this country needs, we need to deliver the right infrastructure in the right place at the right time. By investing in local infrastructure, we can help unlock building thousands of new homes in the areas where they are needed most.”

LGA chairman Lord Porter said: “We’re pleased that the government has followed through on its commitment to invest in infrastructure linked to housing and that this is to be led by councils, as we outlined on our preliminary Housing Commission findings last year.”

He added: “What’s crucial is that the arrangements to access this fund are flexible, especially around different housing tenures, and that all councils can access funds to deliver housing for their communities.

Councils know their communities, and the places in them, best and so it is right that approaches to invest in local infrastructure are led by local authorities.”

The fund aims to support councils to step up their plans for growth, release more land for housing and get attractive, well designed homes that people want to live in built at pace and scale.

The funding will be available from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

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