Major fund announced for 133 council housing projects

The government has today announced the details of housing infrastructure projects which will receive more than £860m in combined funding.

‘Marginal Viability Funding’ – a section of the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) – will be allocated to 133 different singular or lower-tier authorities to help drive housebuilding.

Several of the plans will receive up to £15m of investment, with programmes in Dover, Brighton & Hove, and Southend-on-Sea topping the list.

The government says today’s announcement could see 200,000 new homes built for around £866m of total funding, a start on chancellor Philip Hammond’s pledge to begin building 300,000 new houses a year by the end of this term.

“Today marks the first step of the multibillion-pound investment we announced at the Budget to help build the homes our country needs,” Hammond said.

“This fund finances vital infrastructure such as roads, schools and bridges, which will kickstart housing development in some of Britain’s highest-demand areas.”

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has confirmed it will announce the second part of the funding in autumn. This ‘Forward Funding’ consists of a smaller number of “high-impact infrastructure projects” run by upper-tier authorities, which can be gifted up to £250m.

Housing and communities secretary Sajid Javid argued today’s announcement was a step toward his priority of “building the homes this country desperately needs.”

“This first wave of investment totalling £866m will help get up to 200,000 homes off the ground, making a huge difference to communities across the country,” he added.

Other projects to receive more than the initial £10m limit for ‘Marginal Viability Funding’ include work in Coventry, Norwich, and Bolton.

In response to the funding reveal, Cllr Philip Atkins, County Councils Network spokesman for housing, planning, and infrastructure, said: “CCN welcomes today’s announcement, with over half the funding allocated to projects in county and county unitary areas.

“County councils will be crucial to delivering these vital infrastructure projects that support housing growth, in partnership with their district councils.

“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 full list is available here. While the government has also released an interactive map of the project across the country.

Top image: Shank Ali

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