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Brown hands out cash for 2,000 new council homes

A £127 million pot of government funding has been made available for English local authorities to build 2,000 new council houses, the Prime Minister has announced.

The cash will be combined with £250 million from local authorities as part of a nationwide programme to build a swathe of new homes ‘for rent’.

Gordon Brown said that 47 councils would share the fund to help build thousands of families cheap, energy-efficient homes, while boosting the struggling housebuilding industry.

The handout is a chunk of the £1.5 billion fund for housebuilding, which was announced in June, to be added to the £600 million put forward in April’s Budget.

The money is separate to the £1 billion Kickstart funding from the Homes and Communities Agency, which could help up to 270 ‘stalled’ housing projects – the recipients of which will be unveiled next week.

‘We now need councils to move fast and make the best possible use of this investment, so that together we can meet local housing needs and support the housebuilding industry,’ said Mr Brown.

The Prime Minister announced a series of successful projects, such as the plans to focus on larger family homes and build houses for 277 people in Ealing. Meanwhile, 61 new homes for elderly residents will be constructed in Gateshead and 28 new homes will be built in Durham.

A total of 101 high-quality family homes will be developed in Salford, four sites in Birmingham will house 129 new homes for rent, while the Lambourne Road scheme in Oxford will consist of 38 affordable homes for 146 people, with larger homes to meet the city’s demand for family housing.

The announcement comes as the Audit Commission releases its own report which raps local councils for ‘focusing on new build’ rather than renovating, re-using and improving the existing housing stock.

Read the public spending watchdog’s full report, Building Better Lives by clicking here (or download the document attached right).

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