Council homes receive £45m funding boost

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Housing Minister Dominic Raab has announced that a £45m funding injection into major community projects will help boost the building of thousands of new homes

As part of government’s drive to get the UK building homes again, a total of 79 projects from Newcastle to Plymouth will receive Land Release Fund money to support building up to 7,280 homes on council-owned land.

To support local councils to unlock enough of the land they own for at least 160,000 homes by 2020, they will be able to use the Land Release Fund money to combat barriers which would otherwise make land unusable for development.

The projects – which aim to support building strong communities – include a range of necessary works such as asbestos removal and bat alleviation, as well as schemes that will aim to improve the quality of life.

This move comes two weeks after the projects set to benefit from the first wave of funding from the £5bn Housing Infrastructure Fund were announced, helping to get up to 200,000 homes off the ground through investment in local housing projects.

Raab said: “We are investing £45m to build roads and provide utilities, so councils can release the land to get up to 7,280 new homes built.

“We’re determined to make buying or renting more affordable for young families and those on low or middle incomes.”

Projects from Newcastle to Plymouth will receive funding from the Land Release Fund, which will enable:

  • Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, to build new roads, roundabouts, and utility services, which will unlock up to 330 homes potentially built with Japanese modular housing techniques. The works will cost £1.7m
  • Worcester to demolish a leisure centre and undergo asbestos decontamination works near its city centre, helping to unlock up to 50 homes. The project will cost £750,000
    Paignton, Devon, to build a new 350m sewer, drainage upgrades and 2 new roads, which will help unlock up to 200 homes. The works will cost £1.9m
  • Brighton, Sussex, to divert a public sewer and make electricity substation and highways improvements. The £335,000 project will help unlock up to 30 homes.

The Land Release Fund is being administered through a partnership with the Local Government Association and Cabinet Office’s One Public Estate (OPE) programme, which make the best use of council land and resources through practical advice and support.

OPE already works with over 70% of councils in England to transform local communities and services through large-scale economic growth, delivering new jobs and new homes.

The Land Release Fund competitively assessed bids from local authorities on value for money, innovation, and the contribution to wider government housing objectives.

A total of 79 bids were successful in the assessment process, which will see £45m being awarded to 41 authorities.

The fund was oversubscribed with more than £100m received in funding requests for 143 projects.

The successful bids will release land for homes by March 2020.

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