Housing private finance initiative

The Housing Minister John Healey recently announced £1.7bn funding to build 11,200 new homes and regenerate 10 of the most deprived areas of the country. Ten local authorities in six regions are to receive the cash under the housing private finance initiative (PFI) in order to allow them to deliver 4,500 new or improved council homes and 1,600 new affordable rented homes.

The investment is expected to create 20,000 jobs in the building industry.

The Minister also said that the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) had released over £300m in the last month to 50 housing associations across 119 local authority areas, to build a further 5,100 affordable homes.

£35m will be spent to help regenerate almost 700 homes across 11 urban areas through the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders programme.

This announcement followed Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s commitment to invest an extra £1.5bn towards building a total of 110,000 new affordable homes over the next two years.

The Minister also revealed that there have been more than 300 bids from developers for the government’s £1bn Kickstart fund to unlock stalled private sector developments.

The Minister said: ‘Building homes, creating jobs and lifting communities out of deprivation is a top priority for us in government. I’m determined to pull out all the stops to see new homes built to meet our need for more housing in Britain.

‘At a time when private house building has declined dramatically during the recession, government investment and action means more affordable homes are now being built more quickly and we are helping to keep the construction industry going.

‘In fact we’ve doubled the investment in the homes we’re building through our affordable housing programme compared to this time last year.

‘The steps I’m announcing put real momentum behind the Prime Minister’s housing pledge and I want to see work start on sites across the country within months.’