Millions up for grabs to build affordable homes

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has confirmed that 15 councils will be able to borrow £60 million additional funds over the next 2 years to build over 1,000 homes in their area.

But he also launched a second round of bidding to ensure councils make full use of this opportunity – especially as authorities across the country have asked for more borrowing powers and up to £300 million in borrowing has been made available.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:

“Councils asked for extra borrowing powers – and we have delivered. Today, 15 authorities from across the country will get a share of £60 million of borrowing to deliver over 1,000 affordable homes.

“There’s £300 million extra borrowing up for grabs for the next 2 years. So today, I’m launching a second round of bidding so more councils can make the most of this opportunity.

“Council housebuilding starts are now at a 23-year high – and more council housing has been built since 2010 than in the previous 13 years. But we can go further and with these new borrowing powers available I want authorities to act, and build the affordable homes their communities want.”

Housebuilding is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan – since 2010, nearly 200,000 affordable homes have been delivered, with council housing starts at a 23-year high.

Councils have argued for more borrowing powers to deliver more affordable homes in their area – and government has delivered, with £300 million worth of borrowing on the table for successful councils to build new homes in their communities.

Mr Hopkins confirmed the first successful bids for the extra borrowing – which totals £60 million of this.

But another £240 million borrowing power is still available, which combined with those announced today could help to support the urgent need for new affordable homes across the country.

The minister made clear the money is “up for grabs” for councils who can put in bids that meet a simple criteria – ensuring taxpayers get the value for money they rightly expect.

The 15 councils that have successfully applied for borrowing include:
•Birmingham Council – who will now be able to borrow £10.6 million to build 186 new affordable homes
•Wiltshire Council – who will now be able to borrow £2.7 million to build 90 affordable homes
•Cheshire West and Chester Council – who will now be able to borrow £7.5 million to build 23 affordable homes
•Hackney Council – who will now be able to borrow £2.7 million to build 74 affordable homes
•Dudley Council, who will now be able to borrow £6.2 million to build 123 affordable homes

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