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Government announce funding for affordable homes

Monday 04 February 2019

James Brokenshire has announced a funding boost for housing associations to build more affordable homes, including properties for social rent.

Nearly £500 million will be spent building more than 11,000 much-needed affordable properties across the country, Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has announced today (30 January 2019).

The funding boost, which will help the government towards its target of building 300,000 properties a year by the mid 2020s, was announced at the London First Building Summit this morning.

The strategic partnerships, agreed by Homes England from Essex to Eccleston, will give the successful housing associations the freedom to spend the money on the developments where it can have the biggest impact.

Alongside this, homes will be built on London rooftops by the summer after Homes England agreed a £9 million funding deal with Apex Airspace Developments.

The properties – which will be built on five sites across the capital – are largely constructed off site before being winched on top of buildings, minimising disruption to residents.

The first of the homes will be completed by the summer – and in total 78 rooftop homes will be built under the three year deal.

The Government's revised planning rulebook encourages authorities to promote the use the airspace above existing residential and commercial premises for new homes.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

"By providing targeted investment in affordable homes, and funding innovative projects to build rooftop properties, we are making our housing market work for everyone.

"Our £500 million funding boost for housing associations will help them build thousands of extra affordable homes – including properties for social rent.

"These measures are all part of our plans to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s."

Homes England Chairman, Sir Edward Lister said:

"I welcome the new strategic partners who share our ambition to build better homes faster.

"Our new ways of working with the sector means that housing associations can use their funding flexibly across their development programmes and respond quickly to local housing demand and a changing market."

The infrastructure upgrades being funded by government include rooftop properties, to be built across five sites in the capital in Tooting, Wanstead, Walthamstow, Putney and Wallington.

Apex, a pioneer of 'airspace' development has been appointed by Home England to carry out the project. The idea is that unused airspace above residential, commercial and public buildings is used as a location for new homes. They expect the first three sites, comprising 32 homes, to be ready by summer 2019. The new homes will be priced within the Help to Buy threshold to help support more people into home ownership. The project is being funded from the government’s £4.5 billion Home Building Fund.

The funding will enable the offsite construction of the homes prior to transportation to each of the five sites. These will then be lifted on top of existing buildings with a crane – resulting in minimal disturbance to existing tenants and residents.