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Government announces extra borrowing to build more homes

Government announces extra borrowing to build more homes

The government is to borrow more money to fund the construction of an extra 40,000 homes between now and 2020.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid revealed £3 billion of funding for the Home Building Fund, which is designed to kick-start major projects resulting in the construction of an extra 25,000 new homes by 2020. It will also focus more funds on smaller construction firms.

Another £2 billion will go towards the Accelerated Construction Scheme, designed to get construction firms building 15,000 new homes on publicly-owned brownfield land by the end of the current parliament.

The aim is to help tackle what chancellor Philip Hammond described as decades of insufficient building in his Conservative Party conference speech.

Mr Hammond, who replaced George Osborne in the post in July when Theresa May became prime minister, used his speech to highlight the importance of the issue.

He said: "Despite the action we've taken, fewer and fewer people are able to afford to get their foot on the first rung of the housing ladder and buy their own home. Quite simply, we're not building enough new homes.

"This is a long-term challenge, but there are short-term measures we can take."

Mr Hammond added: "Making housing more affordable will be a vital part of building a country that works for everyone."

The government has acknowledged that it needs to construct 200,000 homes a year or more throughout the parliament, which means this move alone will not be enough to solve the problem. However, it will act as another contributory factor to the quest to close the gap.

Mr Hammond's speech also included a commitment to regional development projects like the Northern Powerhouse and the 'Midlands Engine' based on the Birmingham-Black Country conurbation, as well as spending more on infrastructure projects.

Details of these new spending plans will be provided in Mr Hammond's first autumn statement.

Image: iStock


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