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Government pledges £1.9bn to boost housebuilding

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Ministers have pledged almost £2 billion of support to unlock sites for new homes

Communities secretary James Brokenshire announced the £1.3 billion Land Assembly Fund and the £630 million Small Sites Fund to boost housing delivery.

Just 1 per cent of respondents to a developer survey carried out for estate agent Knight Frank this summer believed the government would hit its target of 300,000 new homes each year by 2022.

And ministers today conceded that action was needed to overcome problems such as land contamination and ownership complexities that prevent builders from getting on sites.

The Land Assembly Fund will be used to acquire land needing work and get it ready for the market. Meanwhile the Small Sites Fund will provide grant funding to get the right infrastructure in place to support home building on stalled plots.

Brokenshire said: ‘We need to act on a number of fronts to build the homes this country needs.

‘The availability of this investment will help us intervene in the sort of sites that aren’t yet ready to build on, or where developers have been put off. Developers can now get straight on with building homes, rather than overcoming the barriers to build.’

Homes England will help administer the initiative outside London. 

Chairman Edward Lister said: ‘Homes England is stepping in where the market isn’t working, unlocking land and releasing sites to those developers that are committed to providing homes at pace.

’The £1.9 billion announced by the government today will mean we can invest in crucial infrastructure and help local authorities to get more homes built on public land.’

The government will work with the Greater London Authority to help ensure targeted funding through the Land Assembly Fund and Small Sites Fund can deliver additional homes in the capital.

In the RIBA’s latest Future Trends Survey, expected workloads in private housebuilding fell sharply from +18 to +7.

Pictured: Fab House by TDO architecture. Photographer: Peter Cook

 

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