Extra govt investment for housing projects
Communities secretary Eric Pickles has unveiled extra government investment to stimulate the rate of housebuilding in the UK.Speaking at the Chartered Institute for Housing conference in Manchester, Mr Pickles outlined the social and economic benefits of housing.He said that, while progress has been made to improve the housing market, there is still much to be done to ensure the country has an adequate supply of homes.The communities secretary announced over £53 million to speed up construction of more than 7,000 homes on large developments in Manchester, Medway, Swindon and Kettering. This will bring the total number of homes supported through the Local Infrastructure Fund to over 80,000 since the scheme began in 2012.In addition, £1 billion has been set aside for further rounds of the programme over the next five years. Developers have shown a strong interest in getting back to work on large-scale projects and 56 bids have so far been received for the funding, with an announcement on shortlisted bids for the first round due in the summer.Over £49 million has been set aside for three new schemes due to be delivered under the Build to Rent scheme in Hampshire and Croydon. This will help to deliver 540 homes specifically for private rent.A new £3 million fund has been established to help local authorities tackle barriers to work starting on site. It is hoped this will speed up starts on up to 85 sites with the potential for up to 25,000 homes.The communities secretary also announced that a new prospectus for a £150 million investment fund for 10,000 'serviced plots' is to be published. Mr Pickles said: "The resurgence in house building is clear evidence that the government’s long-term economic plan is working, but there is still more to do."The investment we're announcing today will help us meet this challenge by driving up the supply of new homes in every corner of the housing market."
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