Government unveils £2.3bn fund to aid homebuilding

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The Government has launched a £2.3bn fund for infrastructure projects to help unlock more housebuilding potential.

The Housing Infrastructure Fund will fund improvements like the building of roads, bridges, energy networks and other utilities.

Funding will also be available to help build new schools, healthcare centres and digital infrastructure.

A statement from the Department for Communities and Local Government says the lack of these “continues to hold housebuilding back”.

Local authorities can bid for the cash and submit proposals to help get homes built faster.

Once they have the cash, the Government would expect the local authorities to start work immediately and for home building to follow quickly.

The funding will be available from 2017/18 to 2020/21.

The fund was mooted last November and is part of the Government’s wider £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund.

This targets spending on things that boost productivity, including housing, transport and digital communications.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid says: “To build the homes this country needs, we need to deliver the right infrastructure in the right place at the right time.

“By investing in local infrastructure, we can help unlock building thousands of new homes in the areas where they are needed most.”

Home Builders Federation planning director Andrew Whitaker says: “Funding necessary infrastructure will give local authorities the opportunity to remove barriers to developments being delivered.

“Direct support for critical infrastructure will not only unlock more housing, it should also help to accelerate planned developments.”