Housing Minister Kris Hopkins announced on 3rd February 2014 the final allocations for the New Homes Bonus payments for this year. Over £900 million will be divided between the 353 councils in England, bringing the total paid out to over £2 billion since the launch in 2011.
The New Homes Bonus Scheme pays councils to build new homes and bring into use old and empty properties. There are extra payments for new affordable housing. Councils can decide how best to use the monies to benefit their communities and local area in general.
The National House Building Council say that there has been an increase of 28% in the housing supply in 2013, as compared to 2012. In fact, housebuilding is at its highest level since 2007. (See the Monthly Fact File – NHBC Figures for new homes for figures for new home registrations in 2013.)
The Housing Minister also said that “getting Britain building in this way is critical to our long-term economic plan, not only building the homes communities need, but creating thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships across the country.
“We will continue to pay the bonus in the future to ensure that places that have built houses are properly rewarded for doing so.”
The Communities Minister Stephen Williams said that he was “delighted to see the numbers of empty homes going down by 38,000 over the past year alone. Today’s New Homes Bonus payments are in recognition of council-led efforts to make this happen.”
By the end of 2014, the New Homes Bonus Scheme will have given funding for 550,000 new-builds and conversions (which includes over 160,000 affordable homes), and 93,000 empty homes will have been brought back into use.
PP / SJ 12.02.14