Laura Sharman 01 February 2018

More than 100 councils to share £866m housing fund

More than 100 councils to share £866m housing fund image

The first wave of the £5bn Housing Infrastructure Fund has been allocated to 133 council-led projects in England to deliver up to 200,000 new homes.

The £866m investment in local housing projects aims to deliver new infrastructure such as roads, cycle paths and flood defences to make new developments viable.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: ‘This fund finances vital infrastructure such as roads, schools and bridges, which will kick-start housing development in some of Britain’s highest-demand areas.

‘This support will help us meet our ambitious plan of building 300,000 new homes each year and ensure we have enough housing in areas which need it most.’

The £5bn fund is awarded to local authorities on a highly competitive basis. It includes a Marginal Viability Fund for all single and lower tier local authorities to provide a piece of infrastructure fundin,g and a Forward Fund for upper tier local authorities for a small number of strategic and high-impact infrastructure projects.

Cllr John Fuller, chairman of the District Councils’ Network, said: 'These major funding allocations of £866 million are a welcome boost to district councils, more than half of which make up the successful bids.

'This money will enable district councils - as the housing and planning authorities – to pave the way for building essential housing-related infrastructure, such as roads, schools, healthcare centres and utilities, more quickly, which will help get homes built faster in areas of high demand.'

Cllr Philip Atkins, County Councils Network spokesman for housing, planning, and infrastructure, added: 'We look forward to the second wave of announcements relating to Forward Plan projects, which have been led by upper-tier councils, hoping that the government recognises the significant infrastructure gaps facing counties and ambitious proposals by our member councils.

'A focus on infrastructure provision, instead of the previous emphasis on New Homes Bonus, is the most crucial means of ensuring we jointly deliver the government’s housing objectives.'

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