A £3bn fund aimed at boosting housebuilding will be announced by the communities secretary and chancellor today – but it will only make a small dent in the government’s plan to build one million new homes by 2020.
The home building fund is projected to aid the construction of 25,500 new homes this parliament – 2.5% of the government’s overall target – and spark the development of a further 200,000 homes in the longer-term, a Conservative party statement said.
Of the £3bn, £1.2bn was previously announced at the spending review last November and the remainder will be in the form of loans, the statement said.
One Conservative leader of a district council told LGC the fund was “a drop in the ocean”.
In his speech at the Conservative party conference today Mr Javid is expected to say: “Tackling the housing shortfall isn’t about political expediency. It’s a moral duty. And it’s one that falls on all of us.
“Not just in parliament, but in business, in local government and in our communities.”
Small builders will be able to access up to £1bn of short-term loan funding which will aid to the constructions of 25,500 homes this parliament.
A further £2bn will be put towards “long-term funding for infrastructure”. The statement said the money would be used to unlock “a pipeline of up to 200,000 homes over the longer term – with the emphasis on developments on brownfield land”.
Ministers are also planning to bring forward a housing white paper later in the year.
Yesterday, housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell spoke at a fringe event where he said he was “very keen” to do “more active deals with communities” which agree to build extra homes.
In return, Mr Barwell said, the government would be willing to help pay for infrastructure such as new road junctions, railways, and doctor’s surgeries or “whatever that infrastructure is that’s required to unlock that” development.
Meanwhile, today’s announcement also includes bringing forward plans for urban regeneration.
These include extending permitted development rights on office to residential development, allowing offices to be demolished and replaced with housing on a “like-for-like basis”, the statement said. This could provide around 4,000 new homes by the end of 2021, it added, while the government will also “consider other opportunities to revitalise currently underused land”.
National planning policy which includes a presumption in favour of housing on suitable brownfield land will also be strengthened, while urban regeneration plans will also grant permission in principle on sites suitable for housing-led development identified in brownfield land registers.
A £2bn fund aimed at encouraging developers to try different models of construction is also due to be announced today.