Government investment to unlock more new homes across England
Almost £300 million of Government investment in Greater Manchester, the West of England and Oxfordshire is set to help deliver thousands of much needed new homes, it has been confirmed.
A further 44 areas have been shortlisted for funding for major infrastructure projects worth £4.1 billion and with the potential to deliver over 400,000 homes, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid has announced.
Greater Manchester is set to receive £68 million funding to support the Mayor’s ambitious target of delivering 227,200 homes by 2035 and boost economic growth across the Northern Powerhouse.
Government support for the West of England will help to nearly double the number of new homes being delivered historically, increasing from around 4,000 homes to 7,500 homes a year.
Ministers have also approved a housing deal with Oxfordshire worth £215 million that will help deliver a further 100,000 new homes for local people. This follows a similar deal agreed with the West Midlands last week to support the Mayor’s ambitious plan to deliver 215,000 homes across the region.
This latest announcement comes as the Government has also announced that Housing Infrastructure Fund bids, from a further 44 areas for projects to help unlock more homes across country, have been shortlisted to the next stage of the competitive process.
A potential £4.1 billion funding will be available for vital infrastructure like roads, bridges, new schools and medical centres, which are needed for new communities.
‘We’re working with ambitious areas across England and backing them with investment and support. This new housing investment in Greater Manchester, the West of England and Oxfordshire will help build much needed homes, giving more people the opportunity to get on the property ladder,’ said Javid.
‘We’re also investing in local infrastructure like schools, roads and hospitals, so that we can help unlock even more new homes in the areas where they’re needed most and build a Britain fit for the future,’ he added.
The Greater Manchester housing package will support a focus on developing brownfield land for housing and getting more homes built on small sites. It includes £50 million for a Land Fund to help councils in the region to prepare brownfield land for housing development.
It also includes up to £8 million for capacity funding to boost support for housing delivery across the region, £10.25 million funding to help regenerate the Collyhurst Estate in north Manchester and new flexibilities on the existing £300 million Housing Investment Fund to allow more homes to be delivered through loans to developers.
‘It brings us closer to our ambitions and is a clear statement of intent as we move towards publishing the rewritten Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. As we look to build the homes Greater Manchester needs, we must do everything we can to make sure as much brownfield land as possible is made available for development. This is the best way to ensure we minimise the impact on our green spaces,’ said Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.
‘But this isn’t just about numbers of homes and land for development. I’ve been clear that I want to see more truly affordable homes built and more homes available for social rent across Greater Manchester,’ he added.
The West of England housing package covers Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset which is regarded as a high housing demand area where average house prices are more than eight times average incomes, with Bath more than 10 times the average income.
It includes £3 million of funding for specialist support to help the region deliver large housing development and exploring the potential for a deal with housing associations in the region to deliver more affordable homes.
‘We know that we need more homes, to buy and rent, homes where they are needed at prices people can afford. This deal will support us to work with our constituent councils, and North Somerset council, to build homes and communities that are well-connected,’ said West of England Mayor Tim Bowles.
The Oxfordshire housing deal which is worth £215 million will deliver 100,000 homes by 2031 which is significantly above the Local Housing Need figure in the draft National Planning Policy Framework.
It will play a key role in the emerging Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor where the Government recognises the need to build up to one million new homes in the area by 2050 to maximise its economic potential.
The plan will provide £150 million of the funding to build much needed bridges, roundabouts and roads and deliver more than 1,300 affordable homes by dedicating over a quarter of the new funding, some £60 million, to support these new homes.
Oxfordshire is also home to three garden towns and villages at Bicester, Didcot and Oxfordshire Cotswold where the Government has invested almost £4 million to deliver an additional 30,000 homes.
According to Bob Price, chair of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, it represents a comprehensive and integrated approach to addressing Oxfordshire’s severe housing shortage and infrastructure challenges.
‘It demonstrates the government’s commitment to working with Oxfordshire and recognises the critical role the county will play in driving forward the UK economy post-Brexit, attracting global investment,’ he explained.
‘The Government has said the deal represents a down payment on a pipeline of infrastructure investment for Oxfordshire and we in the county will work with them to ensure that happens,’ he added.