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Government Pledges £5bn to Tackle UK Housing Shortage

The Conservative Government has announced a new spending pledge in an attempt to ease the continued undersupply of homes in the UK.

Government Pledges £5bn for House Building

The Conservative Government has announced a new spending pledge in an attempt to ease the continued undersupply of homes in the UK.

Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, revealed a new spending plan at yesterday’s Conservative Party Conference, that will see £5bn invested in creating more new homes across the UK.


A total of £3bn will form a new home building fund, which Mr Javid claimed will see 25,000 new homes built during this parliament.

 
A third of the fund will be made available specifically for builders, with small builders, custom builders, and innovators in the field who are looking to take on a greater role in creating new homes.


The remaining £2bn will be assigned specifically for long-term funding in infrastructure.


The fund, which is built upon an existing pledge from former chancellor George Osborne, was also confirmed to consist of £1.15bn in new funds, with the remainder already allocated by the previous government.


In addition to the new housing fund, Mr Javid also revealed a new £2bn investment for ‘accelerated construction on public land’.


In his speech to the conference, the communities secretary said, ‘Currently traditional housebuilders take too long to build houses – so government will take direct action, using surplus public land to build faster, including by encouraging new developers with new models into housebuilding.’


The changes will see planning rules amended to create an automatic assumption for housing on brownfield land that is deemed suitable. The government claims this will lead to 15,000 new homes being built on public sector land.


Currently, housebuilding in the UK remains far below the level required to meet demand. David Cameron’s government set a target of 200,000 new homes to be built per year. The highest level of homes built per annum during his term as Prime Minister was in 2015, when 142,890 new houses were constructed.


Earlier this year, a House of Lords report suggested that this target should be raised to 300,000 in order to realistically tackle the issue and that the government had to ‘recognise the inability of the private sector, as currently incentivised, to build the number of homes needed.’

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