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Govt announces major affordable housing investment

The government has announced investment in affordable housing projects around the country.Successful bids have been revealed for almost 62,000 homes under the first phase of the £23 billion programme, which is set to deliver 165,000 new affordable homes over three years from 2015.A total of 191 providers across England have been earmarked for funding, with almost a third of the new homes to be constructed in London.A combination of government and private sector finance will be used to fund the £23 billion scheme. More private sector investment has been attracted than in previous programmes, resulting in a better deal for the taxpayer.Cutting-edge technology is to be used to construct one-fifth of the new properties. Advanced housing manufacture, which involves making parts in factories before assembling them on-site, is common in Europe but only plays a limited role in British housebuilding.According to housing minister Brandon Lewis, this technique will provide high-quality homes while ensuring the sector achieves the fastest rate of housebuilding for 20 years. There will also be a significant employment boost as a result of the new investment: each home constructed will support a person's job, resulting in 165,000 employment opportunities over three years.Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: "Building more affordable homes is an important part of ensuring every family has the opportunity to live in a decent home."By investing billions into new housing and cutting out burdensome planning regulations, we are building more affordable homes per year than at any time in 20 years and are also supporting job creation across the country."Small businesses which supply construction materials are set to benefit from the government's announcement. Some 20 per cent of all small and medium-sized companies are involved in the sector and businesses that supply building materials account for 4.5 per cent of the UK's gross domestic product.Funding applicants were required to demonstrate they are delivering new homes that are in short supply in their area. Some 77 per cent have been one and two-bedroom properties, ensuring smaller families have suitably-sized accommodation. 

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