The Housing Minister has today announced a new £18m ‘capacity fund’ aimed at speeding up house building on large sites.
However, Gavin Barwell also admitted that the Government can do better in addressing the issue.
From today, councils can apply for a share of the capacity fund, which will aim to address planning issues causing delays to builders wanting to start work quickly.
It is hoped that this money will accelerate delivery of 800,000 homes across larger sites in England.
Primarily, this will aimed at larger sites of 1,500 units or more, alongside Housing Zones. In addition, developers will be able to apply to funding from the Home Building Zone, which is making £3bn available to housing builders.
Measures announced include creating six new Housing Zones to assist the development of 10,000 properties on brownfield land.
New £18m ‘Capacity Fund’ announced by Housing Minister
Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said: ‘We want to turbo-charge house building on large sites to get the homes built in the places people want to live, so that this country works for everyone, not just the privileged few. These sites offer enormous potential to transform brownfield land into new homes and our £18m funding will help get them built much sooner. Furthermore, we are getting behind plans for a new Garden Town, which offers a unique opportunity to boost the local economy, jobs and provide new homes in Shepway, Kent.’
Housebuilding targets have been missed on a regular basis, leading to soaring prices and a profound shortage of properties. Recent figures show that the Government is only building an average of 170,000 homes each year.
Barwell acknowledges that this is not good enough, saying: ‘We clearly need todo better. We inherited a position in 2010 where house building rates in this country were at their lowest since the 1920s. We’ve seen significant progress.’
‘But absolutely we are still not at the rate that we need to be in order to meet our ambition to get this country building the homes that are so desperately needed.’