Cash boost for council house building boost

Housing Minister John Healey has doubled Government cash for new council homes.

Healey announced that 73 councils covering every region of England will share an extra £122.6 million. The money will be matched by councils in a second round Government grant bringing total public investment in the programme as a whole to over £500m to build more than 4,000 new council homes for 8,000 people.

He also confirmed that many will be new family homes, whilst all will be highly energy efficient and add to the mixed make-up of local neighbourhoods. And for the first time, all councils receiving Government fundswill be required to offer apprenticeship and local job recruitment schemes, creating 7,500 jobs and around 100 new apprenticeship places.

Thirty-five of the 73 councils receiving funding in this second wave will extend their council house building work which is already underway after successful round one bids, while 38 councils receive this government backing for the first time. Eighty-six councils bid for the second round of house building with projects totalling more than double the funds earmarked.

Healey said: “Councils have shown they’re ready and willing to build new homes, so I’m ready to back them. This year’s Government spending for affordable housing will be the largest for at least two decades.

“More affordable homes for rent are needed in every part of the country. We’re using the power of public investment to help economic growth by building the homes we need and creating jobs and skills for the future. And we must get the most for every taxpayer’s pound, so I am requiring all councils getting this government money to offer new jobs and apprenticeships to local people.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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