Ministers have confirmed an additional £1bn funding for council house improvements and urged councils to spend the cash as quickly as possible in order to boost local economies.
Housing minister Mark Prisk called for the next two years’ funding for the Decent Homes programme should be used to create new local jobs and support local businesses.
Department for Communities & Local Government officials are set to contact councils to see how they can spend the homes improvement cash as quickly as possible with local businesses and Mr Prisk pointed to research by Nottingham Trent University which showed that every £1 of the city’s Decent Homes Programme generated £1.46 spent in the local economy.
“By improving this country’s council homes we will transform many families’ lives for the better, bringing their living standards up to scratch ensuring that their home is the safe haven it is meant to be,” Mr Prisk said.
“But the benefits of the £1bn I’ve confirmed today reach far beyond tenants themselves and into the local economy. With every pound spent on improvements boosting local business, creating new jobs and supporting local spending, I want to see councils realising the benefits of this cash as soon as possible.”
As previously reported by LGC, the government is focused on boosting the economy through capital projects and the LGA is understood to be arguing that any funding to be channelled through councils. There are also widespread fears the chancellor’s Autumn statement will reopen the last two year of spending review totals for local government.