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Councils given £45m funding boost to support new builds

  • 16/02/2018
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Councils given £45m funding boost to support new builds
The government has announced a £45m cash injection to unlock council owned land and "kick start" construction for up to 7,280 homes through 79 projects.


However the Land Release Fund was oversubscribed with more than £100m received in funding requests for 143 projects, with a final 79 bids approved to see £45m given to 41 authorities to proceed with their initiatives.

Housing minister Dominic Raab said the £45m Land Release Fund will help councils meet their ambition of unlocking enough land they own for at least 160,000 homes by 2020.

The projects stretch from Newcastle to Plymouth, and will “combat barriers which would otherwise make land unusable for development” – such as asbestos removal, sewage installation, and road construction.

The latest funding boost comes as the projects set to benefit from the first wave of funding from the £5bn Housing Infrastructure Fund were announced, with up to 200,000 new homes set to start construction.


Continued shortage

The announcement also comes as an Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) report revealed that homeownership rates for young adults have “collapsed” as property value growth continues to outstrip wage increases.

Dominic Raab commented: “We are investing £45m to build roads and provide utilities, so councils can release the land to get up to 7,280 new homes built.

“It’s part of our strategy to build the homes Britain needs, and carry local communities with us.

“We’re determined to make buying or renting more affordable for young families and those on low or middle incomes.”

Also in the backdrop is an independent ‘land banking’ review announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond during the Autumn Budget.

The review has been examining the gap between the number of planning permissions granted and the number of homes built, and is expected make recommendations for methods to unlock land for development.

An interim report is due to be delivered in the Spring Statement next month.

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