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Government launches affordable housing programme

The government has announced the launch of a new programme of affordable housing that will see 165,000 new homes provided over a period of three years.Unveiled by housing minister Kris Hopkins, the scheme is set to achieve the fastest rate of affordable house building in 20 years. It will support 165,000 jobs in construction and provide support for thousands of British businesses.A combination of government funds and private-sector investment will ensure taxpayers get good value for money from the scheme. Funding of £23 billion is expected to be delivered between 2015 and 2018.Small businesses forming part of the supply chain will benefit from the investment, from firms supplying building materials to developers, from timber traders to tile makers.Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: "Housebuilding is an essential part of this government’s long-term economic plan. That’s why we have designed an ambitious new scheme to build affordable homes at the fastest rate for 20 years."Our programme will support 165,000 jobs in construction, sustain thousands of small businesses and provide homes where future generations can live and raise families of their own."Housebuilding is now at its highest level since 2007 and orders are increasing at the fastest rate in ten years but more land needs to be allocated for new homes by councils.Housing associations will be required to provide housing that meets the needs of local people, meaning one and two-bedroom accommodation for smaller households will need to be provided in many areas. Landlords will also be required to demonstrate they are making the best use of their property portfolios. When one of their properties becomes vacant, they will have to decide whether to re-let it or to put it up for sale. This will ensure more decent, affordable accommodation is made available to families.The current affordable housing programme is on track to provide 170,000 homes by 2015 and the new scheme will build on its success. Some 335,000 new affordable homes will be provided between 2011 and 2018. 

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