Government investment to unlock more homes across England

Thursday March 22nd, 2018

Almost £300 million government investment in Greater Manchester, the West of England and Oxfordshire is set to help deliver thousands of much-needed new homes for local communities, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid announced yesterday (21 March 2018).Generic Lovell housebuilding image

Greater Manchester is set to receive £68 million funding to support the Mayor’s ambitious target of delivering 227,200 homes by 2035 and boost economic growth across the Northern Powerhouse.

Government support for the West of England will help to nearly double the number of new homes being delivered historically, increasing from around 4,000 homes to 7,500 homes a year. This will deliver much-needed homes and support the local economy.

Ministers have also approved a housing deal with Oxfordshire worth £215 million that will help deliver a further 100,000 new homes for local people. This follows a similar deal agreed with the West Midlands last week to support the Mayor’s ambitious plan to deliver 215,000 homes across the region.

This latest announcement comes as the government has also announced that Housing Infrastructure Fund bids, from a further 44 areas for projects to help unlock more homes across country, have been shortlisted to the next stage of the competitive process.

A potential £4.1 billion funding will be available for vital infrastructure like roads, bridges, new schools and medical centres, which are needed for new communities.

Greater Manchester housing package
This funding will support a focus on developing brownfield land for housing and getting more homes built on small sites.

The government package includes:

  • £50 million for a Land Fund to help councils in the region to prepare brownfield land for housing development
  • taking 4 Housing Infrastructure Fund projects through to the next stage of assessment for funding
  • up to £8 million for capacity funding to boost support for housing delivery across the region
  • £10.25 million funding to help regenerate the Collyhurst Estate in north Manchester
  • new flexibilities on the existing £300 million Housing Investment Fund to allow more homes to be delivered through loans to developers

West of England housing package
The West of England – covering Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset – is a high housing demand area. Across the region, the average house prices are more than 8 times average incomes, with Bath more than 10 times the average income.

The government’s interim package supports the Mayor’s with ambitious plans to deliver more homes and tackle affordability challenges. It includes:

  • £3 million of funding for specialist support to help the region deliver large housing development
  • taking 2 Housing Infrastructure Fund projects through to the next stage of assessment for funding
  • exploring the potential for a deal with housing associations in the region to deliver more affordable homes

Oxfordshire housing deal
The first completed government housing deal has been confirmed with Oxfordshire’s 6 local authorities – Cherwell, Oxford City, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, West Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire County Council – and the Local Enterprise Partnership, OxLEP.

The deal, which is worth £215 million, will:

  • deliver 100,000 homes by 2031 – which is significantly above the Local Housing Need figure in the draft National Planning Policy Framework – playing a key role in the emerging Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor where the government recognises the need to build up to 1 million new homes in the area by 2050 to maximise its economic potential
  • provide £150 million of the funding to build much needed bridges, roundabouts and roads
  • deliver more than 1300 affordable homes by dedicating over a quarter of the new funding, £60 million, to support these new homes

Oxfordshire is also home to 3 garden towns and villages – at Bicester, Didcot and Oxfordshire Cotswold – where government has invested almost £4 million to deliver an additional 30,000 homes.

Housing Infrastructure Fund
With the government committed to building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, the £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund is part of a comprehensive programme to fix the broken housing market.

Last month, ministers confirmed 133 council-led infrastructure projects that received a total of £866 million funding to support local work that will make housing developments viable and get much-needed homes built quicker.

The latest bids from 44 areas across England are for high-impact infrastructure like key roads, rail links and schools with the potential to deliver over 400,000 homes.

They will now move to the co-development stage, where government officials will work with these areas to further develop their bid and assess the projects. However, not all projects will receive funding after this stage or funding amounts could change to the amount originally bid for.

Without this financial support these projects would struggle to go ahead or take years for work to begin, delaying the homes these communities need.

Together with the government’s Industrial Strategy, this funding will provide high-quality infrastructure to support economic growth.

Successful bids will be announced from autumn 2018 onwards and local authorities would then begin building the necessary infrastructure to help speed up new homes being built.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“This government is determined to build the homes this country needs. That’s why we’re working with ambitious areas across England and backing them with investment and support.

This new housing investment in Greater Manchester, the West of England and Oxfordshire will help build much-needed homes, giving more people the opportunity to get on the property ladder.

We’re also investing in local infrastructure like schools, roads and hospitals, so that we can help unlock even more new homes in the areas where they’re needed most and build a Britain fit for the future.”

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