Wednesday, 19 July 2017

UK’s dysfunctional housing market to get £2.3 billion boost

A new Housing Infrastructure Fund, which will lay the groundwork for 100,000 much-needed new homes in England, has been announced by the government.

Billions of pounds in funding have been promised to help deliver up to 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand in England.
However, 'help deliver' is the key term here.
New homes require infrastructure – for example, new roads and highways, bridges, transport links, energy and water supply, and even parks and woodland.
And this is what the cash – a Housing Infrastructure Fund worth £2.3 billion – must be used for.
Local authorities will have to compete against each other by bidding to win a slice of the pie.

Why is this happening?

Currently the brakes are being put on urban expansion because of the lack of sufficient infrastructure. This needs to change to support the building of much-needed new homes in England.
“Without the right infrastructure, no new community will thrive – and no existing community will welcome new housing if it places further strain on already-stretched local resources,” said Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid. 
"By investing in local infrastructure, we can help unlock the building of thousands of new homes in areas they are needed most." 
Once councils successfully bid for grants, relevant projects will start immediately and the construction of new homes shortly afterwards, the government has promised.

When will the money be available?

The Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund will be available from 2017/18 to 2020/21. But local authorities must apply by Thursday 28 September this year.

What do the councils say?

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), which champions councils, welcomed government plans to invest in infrastructure linked to new housing.
But he cautioned that access to the fund should be flexible enough to allow for different types of homes to be built.

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