Ministers shortlist 44 areas for housing projects in funding pledge

Almost £300m of government investment in Greater Manchester, the west of England and Oxfordshire is set to help deliver thousands of much-needed new homes, the government has announced.

Greater Manchester is set to receive £68m funding to support the mayor’s ambitious target of delivering 227,200 homes by 2035, while a housing deal with Oxfordshire worth £215m that will help deliver a further 100,000 new homes by 2031 has also been approved. The funding will help to nearly double the number of new homes being delivered historically in the region, from 4,000 homes to 7,500 per year, according to the government.

The latest funding announcement comes on the back of the £4.1bn of Housing Infrastructure Fund cash. A total of 44 shortlisted bids which are still “subject to further assessment” have reached the next stage of the process and have the potential to deliver more than 400,000 homes, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said. The money will be available for vital infrastructure like roads, bridges, new schools and medical centres, which are needed for new communities.

Housing secretary Sajid Javid said: “This government is determined to build the homes this country needs. That’s why we’re working with ambitious areas across England and backing them with investment and support. This new housing investment in Greater Manchester, the West of England and Oxfordshire will help build much-needed homes, giving more people the opportunity to get on the property ladder. We’re also investing in local infrastructure like schools, roads and hospitals, so that we can help unlock even more new homes in the areas where they’re needed most and build a Britain fit for the future.”

 The Greater Manchester funding package includes: 

  • £50m for a Land Fund to help councils in the region to prepare brownfield land for housing development
  • Taking four Housing Infrastructure Fund projects through to the next stage of assessment for funding
  • Up to £8m for capacity funding to boost support for housing delivery across the region
  • £10.25m funding to help regenerate the Collyhurst Estate in north Manchester

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham welcomed the annoucement but warned that solving the housing problem is not simply "numbers of homes and land for development" but rather he is seekling “truly affordable homes built and more homes available for social rent” across the city region.

“I also want the rewritten Greater Manchester Spatial Framework to specify a date by which all new homes built across Greater Manchester should be net zero carbon," said Burnham. "This is all part of my ambition. As we look to build the homes Greater Manchester needs, we must do everything we can to make sure as much brownfield land as possible is made available for development. This is the best way to ensure we minimise the impact on our green spaces," he said.

The Oxfordshire housing deal aims to:

  • Deliver 100,000 homes by 2031 – significantly above the Local Housing Need figure in the draft National Planning Policy Framework
  • Provide £150m of the funding to build much needed bridges, roundabouts and roads
  • Deliver more than 1300 affordable homes by dedicating over a quarter of the new funding, £60m, to support these new homes

Commenting on the funding, Bob Price, chair of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, said: "I’m pleased that so many councillors of all parties and from all parts of the county have backed the deal. It represents a comprehensive and integrated approach to addressing Oxfordshire’s severe housing shortage and infrastructure challenges. It demonstrates the government’s commitment to working with Oxfordshire and recognises the critical role the county will play in driving forward the UK economy post-Brexit, attracting global investment."

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