Nearly £250m of housing deals will deliver almost 25,000 more homes, the Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has announced.
As part of this, the government will be investing £157m in infrastructure such as building roads and putting ‘green space’ alongside developments.
A new partnership has also been struck by the government’s housing accelerator Homes England to build over 10,000 properties on Ministry of Defence land on seven military bases across the country, with the ‘potential’ for more surplus army land to be used in the future.
In London, more than 1,500 new homes will be built at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park thanks to a £78m loan helping to fund the development.
The loan is part of the government’s £4.5bn Home Building Fund, which provides development and infrastructure finance to home builders.
Work has already begun on phase one of the site, which will include 130 new affordable homes and 105 for private rental, as well as 33,000 sq ft of business and creative space.
This is all said to be part of the department’s drive to make the housing market ‘work for everyone’ and deliver much-needed homes across the country.
Under the government deal, up to 650 new homes will be built on three sites in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield, Hertfordshire, using Modern Methods of Construction – which mean properties can ‘go up more quickly’.
The scheme – which is receiving £10.6m of funding from Homes England – is the first to benefit from the government’s £450m Accelerated Construction Programme.
On the deal, Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire, said: “We delivered 222,000 homes last year which is the highest number in a decade, but we must keep upping our game.
“We are invoking the spirit of Britain’s post-war push to build as we strive to hit our target of 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s, for the first time since the days of Harold Macmillan.
He added: “By investing in infrastructure, freeing up public sector land and offering targeted loans we are making the housing market work.
“These deals struck today will help us build almost 25,000 more homes – which is another symbolic step towards our homebuilding targets.”
Responding to the government’s announcement, Catherine Ryder, Head of Policy at the National Housing Federation, said: “The government is right to invest in tackling the housing crisis – the £250m of funding allocated by James Brokenshire today could have a real impact by helping to unlock thousands of new homes across the country.
“The Secretary of State is also right to recognise that the housing crisis is a national one, and needs action across the country to tackle it.
“However, it’s important that we recognise how far we still have to go. We need to be building 340,000 homes every year, including 90,000 social homes, to make sure that everyone has somewhere secure and affordable to live. Last year, only around 6,500 social homes were built.
“We urgently need to rectify this situation, which means we need major government investment in affordable homes and mixed communities.
She added that: “Solving the housing crisis will also require major changes to the way that land is bought and sold. Land needs to be made cheaper so that housing associations can afford to buy it to build new social housing.
“We are glad to see that the government is also planning to use surplus MoD land to build new homes, but ministers must use this opportunity to use public land for the public good by ensuring at least half of the homes are affordable.”