£600m boost for housing found through infrastructure fund

Move follows Chancellor’s commitment to a step-change in infrastructure investment, with National Infrastructure Strategy this autumn.

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The government has given the ‘magic money tree’ a shake to land a low-hanging £600m for housing investment.

As pitched by the Treasury, the sum will pay for 50,000 new homes in so-called high-demand areas.

The money is funnelled through the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), originally launched by Chancellor Sajid Javid when he was Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Since it was launched, £1.3bn has been allocated to deliver up to 76,500 homes.

The five new projects are in London, Central Bedfordshire, and Essex – all areas identified as having a high demand for new housing.

Specifically, the schemes are:

  • £218m for the ‘Beaulieu Station and North-East bypass’ bid from Essex county council to deliver a new train station and road improvements to unlock up to 14k homes
  • £156m for the ‘Meridian Water’ bid from Enfield to deliver rail works, road infrastructure, land remediation, flood alleviation, and utilities to unlock up to 10k homes
  • £99.9m for the ‘Tendring Colchester Borders Garden Community’ bid from Essex county council to deliver a new single carriageway link road and works to unlock up to 7.5k homes
  • £69.6m for the ‘Transformational Growth in Biggleswade’ bid from Central Bedfordshire to deliver a new secondary school and transport infrastructure to unlock up to c.3k homes
  • £80.8m for the ‘East London Line – Growth Capacity’ bid from the GLA to deliver transport upgrades to unlock up to 14k homes

The Housing Infrastructure Fund is a government capital grant programme of up to £5.5bn and divided into two streams:

  • Marginal Viability Funding: available to all single and lower tier local authorities in England – to provide the final or missing piece of infrastructure funding to get additional sites allocated or existing sites unblocked quickly
  • Forward Funding: available to the uppermost tier of local authorities in England – for a small number of strategic and high-impact infrastructure projects. The announced projects are all successful ‘Forward Funding’ bids

Funding is being awarded to councils on a competitive basis, providing grant funding for new infrastructure that will unlock new homes in the areas of greatest housing demand across the country.

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