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270 housing projects shortlisted for share of £925m

The projects have been identified by the Homes and Communities Agency through the Kickstart programme.

The Government expects almost half the money to be repaid within five years, more than one third will go to housing associations and others to help them manage the affordable housing and less than one fifth (18%) consists of direct grant to support developers.

Only developers who have accepted a realistic current market price for their land are eligible for Government investment.

All the projects will now go through a rigorous final assessment to determine which get the green light. Key to this will be their ability to start construction this year.

Healey said he wanted to see the first builders back on site in a matter of weeks and would call on successful developers to pull out all the stops so construction could restart as quickly as possible.

He said: "We’ve pledged to use the power of Government investment to help Britain through the Recession. This billion-pound Kickstart programme will get stalled building work back on track, create jobs and help build the quality homes we need."

Sir Bob Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, said: "The response to our bidding process shows the level of appetite and capacity for development which is out there in the house building sector. Despite the economic downturn, demand for new homes remains and with some help, quality schemes can be unlocked, adding to new supply very quickly."

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