Government’s £5 billion plan to help small builders build houses
The British government this week unveiled plans to boost house building with a £5 billion cash injection for small developers and a renewed focus on brownfield sites. To kick off the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham Chancellor Philip Hammond and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced Theresa May’s government will make new money available for builders via a £2 billion Accelerated Construction scheme.
The scheme which will make publicly-owned brownfield land available for quick development. Hammond and Javid announced the scheme on Monday alongside the previously announced £3 billion Home Builders Fund, which aims to help fund development of 25,500 homes by 2020.
The fund will provide short-term loans to small builders. It will also directly commission modular construction schemes. The Accelerated Construction Scheme will be financed by £2 billion in government borrowing from the public sector and will target small builders. To make it easier for them public land will be made available with outline planning permission already available to them.
The presumption will be that brownfield sites will usually get planning permissions. Money will also be available to help them carry out any necessary remediation work on the brownfield sites. Government ministers are also encouraging builders to use modular, or pre-built, housing.
They are also to push ahead with allowing office blocks to be converted to – or torn down for – residential developments with a view to creating 4,000 extra homes over the next five years. to allow for the demolition of office blocks for residential development, which it hopes will provide an extra 4,000 homes by the end of 2021.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “There has been a housing shortage in this country for decades, and this Government is determined to take action to tackle it. “We’ll use all the tools at our disposal to accelerate housebuilding and ensure that, over time, housing becomes more affordable. That is why we are committing £2 billion of additional investment towards this.”
Mr Javid added: “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. So my message today is clear: it’s time to get building.”