Building industry given a kick-start

4 July 2008

New measures designed to support the delivery of new affordable housing were announced this week by Housing Minister Caroline Flint.

The measures offer increased support for developers and providers, and are the first part of a wider housing package to be unveiled by the government later this month.

The main announcements were:

  • A further £270m will be allocated through the Housing Corporation to deliver an additional 3,800 homes for social rent and 1,500 shared ownership homes over the next three years.
  • The Housing Corporation is to act as a new national clearing house through which builders will be able to sell their unsold stock for affordable housing.
  • Providers can now bid for funding from the Government's £8.4bn affordable housing programme at any time, rather than quarterly
  • The Housing Corporation will offer larger upfront payments to developers at the start of schemes.
  • Councils will be able to bid for a share of up to £1.87bn to build new homes or refurbish existing houses and estates.

In response, Shelter’s chief executive, Adam Sampson, said:

‘This package gives the building industry a much needed kick-start to ensure it gets building the affordable homes that Britain desperately needs, but significantly more investment is still needed to make a real difference.

Caroline Flint is putting the proper tools in builders' hands. But she must make sure the houses that are built, and the houses the Government buys from developers are the right homes in the right places.’