Government launches £54m fund to boost housebuilding

A £54m pot of government funding has been launched to help councils unlock land and increase housebuilding.

Local authorities can use the Land and Release Fund for land remediation and small-scale infrastructure work to help bring sites forward for housing.

It is hoped this will help to meet the government’s target of unlocking enough council-owned land for at least 160,000 homes by 2020.

The fund is part of a series of measures introduced in the government’s February Housing White Paper to make better use of public land.

It has been launched by the Cabinet Office in partnership with Local Government Association’s One Public Estate programme, which provides support and funding to local authorities delivering property-focused projects.

One Public Estate is also making £9m funding available to support more councils to deliver “ambitious” property-focused programmes.

By 2020, councils on the programme are expected to deliver £615m in capital receipts, £158m running costs savings, create 44,000 new jobs and release land for 25,000 new homes.

Housing and planning minister, Alok Sharma, said: “To build the homes this country needs, we need to increase the supply of land available to build more homes, more quickly.

“As a major landowner, local authorities have a crucial role to play in this task.

“Through this innovative cross-government partnership, we will be able to work with councils much more effectively, helping them to meet local housing needs and transform local areas.”

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