The Government has published its green paper on housing today with news that families and first-time buyers will benefit from investment of £8bn for affordable housing.
Announcements include the commitment to build at least 70,000 affordable houses a year by 2010-11. This includes 45,000 new social homes a year and a goal of 50,000 social homes a year in the next spending review.
The Government claims that the £8bn investment from the Comprehensive Spending Review for 2008 to 2010-11 is a £3bn increase over the current spending period.
It was also announced that there would be an additional £300m for transport infrastructure to support new homes.
The green paper also includes new proposals such as: A new Housing and Planning Delivery Grant available to those councils which grasp the scale of the challenge and ensure they have identified at least five years of appropriate land for development.
New measures to discourage private sector builders from ‘landbanking’. Ministers will look at toughening up planning rules so that developers must put in place much of the infrastructure for a site within three years of gaining planning permission.
The Government also plans to increase shared equity support for FTBs. A new 17.5 per cent equity loan will be made available to give house hunters more flexibility in choosing the mortgage product that best suits their circumstances.
In Parliament today, housing minister Yvette Cooper confirmed that 470 sites have now been identified following a review with BRB (Residuary) Ltd and the Highways Agency of their surplus landholdings.