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Government pledges extra £32m for estate regeneration

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Communities secretary Sajid Javid has announced new funding and a new national strategy for dilapidated housing estates

The funding will ‘breath new life into rundown estates’, according to the government.

It will be combined with the existing £140 million estate regeneration fund, meaning that councils, housing associations and developers can bid for a share of the £172 million of government investment to ‘transform local neighbourhoods’.

The new national strategy has been developed by an independent advisory panel chaired by Tory grandee Michael Heseltine and housing minister Gavin Barwell.

It will also provide guidance on resident engagement and protection, including a ’model residents’ charter’ to ensure residents receive a better deal.

And it will cover alternative approaches to regeneration, such as community-led housing development, and use case studies to highlight examples of design and quality, as well as community engagement.

Lastly, the strategy will include a ‘good practice guide’, which the government said would steer schemes through all stages and advise on the range of finance options available. 

The independent advisory panel for the strategy includes RIBA president Jane Duncan; Assael Architecture director Félicie Krikler; chief executive of Berkeley Homes Tony Pidgley; project director at British Land Emma Cariaga; chief executive of Hyde Housing Association Elaine Bailey; chief executive of Orbit Housing Association Paul Tennant; and director of social enterprise Create Streets Nicholas Boys Smith. 

Javid said: ‘Rundown estates offer huge potential to become new thriving communities providing homes, jobs and opportunities and places that work for everyone.

‘That’s why we’re determined to ensure the success of regeneration projects through the national strategy to transform the lives of thousands of people by delivering better homes in better estates.’

The £32 million of extra funding will include £30 million towards work such as feasibility studies, viability assessments, masterplanning, community engagement and procurement advice, and £2 million to help local authorities support estate regeneration work.

Heseltine, who has co-chaired the estate regeneration panel since its launch in February, said: ‘The national strategy puts residents at the heart of reshaping their estates, working with local authorities and developers. 

‘Estate regeneration must be locally-led and this strategy sets out blueprints for success, to help guide the progress and provide aspiration for delivering tangible plans.’

The original £140 million fund was announced in January and is used to cover costs such as land assembly, leaseholder buy-outs, re-housing costs, demolition, and preparatory construction works.

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