As of 5th January 2016, Housing Zones located across the country will begin to receive a share of £6.3 million of government funding in a bid to kick start building work for tens of thousands of new homes.
The funding, which is being distributed to revive brownfield sites across the country, comes on top of a £1.2 billion Starter Home Fund aimed at preparing the sites for the construction of at least 30,000 homes and is intended to speed up work and enable homes to be made available sooner.
The 20 Housing Zones spread across the country, which were designated at Budget in March 2015, will see councils working in partnership with private developers to deliver thousands of new homes on brownfield land. However, only 19 of these 20 will receive part of the latest available funding.
On top of this the government is also committing to work with an additional 8 short-listed Zones, which takes the potential number of houses to be delivered to 45,000.
Brandon Lewis, Housing Minister said:
“Housing Zones offer enormous potential to use brownfield land for new homes which is why this government is determined to get them built out as soon as possible.
“This funding will play an important part in getting work underway, which will lead to new homes and more security for aspiring homeowners.”
The majority of the funding will go to the local councils, with North Somerset Council and Thurrock Council benefiting the most – each receiving grants of £700,000. The smallest grant given to a single council is £30,000 to Poole Borough Council, followed by Sedgemoor District Council who will get £100,000.
In total, £5,553,732 will be handed to councils, with the remaining £740,000 being used to provide specialist technical support to the zones.
The move comes as an independent report on the number of ‘banked’ sites held by developers highlighted a huge 400,000 site holding, potentially contributing to the ongoing housing crisis.
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