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HCA welcomes key role in delivering housing aspirations

Published date : 21 November 2011

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the national housing and regeneration agency, has welcomed its vital role in delivering the Government’s Housing Strategy published today.

As well as setting out the steps the Government has already taken, the Housing Strategy introduces new support to tackle supply and demand issues by unlocking stalled sites and providing first time buyers with easier access to finance.

The Housing Strategy announced the £400m Get Britain Building Investment Fund. This programme, to be managed by the HCA, will aim to unlock up to16,000 homes on stalled sites and boost the economy.

The HCA also welcomed an additional £50m allocated, on top of the £100m already confirmed, to tackle the worst concentrations of empty homes, bringing vacant properties back into use. Support will also be available for private rent developments, taking forward funding to support self-build projects and continuing work on two sites where local authorities will be invited to take part in pilot Land Auctions.

HCA Chief Executive Pat Ritchie said: “The Housing Strategy sets a clear direction to get Britain building, unlocking stalled sites, bringing empty homes back into use, and helping those who aspire to home ownership or need flexibility and choice. The HCA, using our commercial expertise and working strategically with local partners, has a vital role in making these aspirations a reality.

“Today’s announcement is a boost to the housebuilding industry, which will also create new quality homes, jobs and contribute to economic growth. I am keen to start working with the sector on the design and delivery of the new programmes, and we will be publishing more details in the next few weeks.”

The HCA’s continuing role in delivering the strategy includes:

  • Increasing the amount and speeding up the delivery of public land for development, getting new developments underway and boosting local economies through our land disposal strategy. This also includes working with other Government departments to help them unlock their land assets,
  • Investing £1.8bn through the Affordable Homes Programme to build up to 80,000 new affordable homes, and up to 170,000 through all of our investment combined. Contracts have already been signed with housing providers for over £1bn of Affordable Homes Programme funding
  • Today we have published guidance for bidders for the £100m of investment available to bring 3,300 empty homes back into productive use;
  • We have also released guidance to help communities build affordable homes that they need themselves, through access to the Affordable Homes Programme.
  • Delivering a new type of affordable housing, Affordable Rent, which will enable social housing providers to reinvest in building homes and give greater flexibility to people when they need it most;
  • Helping nearly 10,500 struggling first time buyers own their own home through our £180m FirstBuy programme.

Ends

For further media information please contact Tim Abbott on 020 7874 5874 or tim.abbott@hca.gsx.gov.uk, or Helen Stoddart on 020 7874 8263 or email helen.stoddart@hca.gsx.gov.uk.

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