HCA unveils housing package details

The HCA would offer a contribution to infrastructure or development costs – complemented by support for affordable housing and HomeBuy Direct – for high quality housing projects that provide a mix of tenures. The initiative is expected to deliver up to 9000 new homes.

As part of the funding criteria, only schemes that start on site within the financial year 2009/10 will be eligible. Funding will be available to a range of organisations including housing associations and private sector developers.

The HCA will seek to recover its investment and to share in any uplift in values if and when the market improves. Bids will be accepted up until 8 June 2009 with the announcement of bidders who are successful at this expressions of interest stage in late July.

HCA chief executive Sir Bob Kerslake said the additional funding was an essential boost to the supply of new homes.

"This funding is in addition to our existing national affordable housing programme and will be an important ‘transfusion’ into schemes that have potential to be brought back to life. We will be very selective about the schemes that are eligible. Criteria relating to quality, speed of delivery and meeting local needs will be crucial in attracting funding."

Today local authorities can also bid for a slice of £100million of extra funding to deliver new council homes for social rent.

The money is broadly a 50:50 split of £50million in the form of social housing grant, with the remaining £50million set aside as (capital) cover for the "prudential borrowing".

Ministers have made it clear that any homes built under the scheme will be eligible for exclusion from the HRA (Housing Revenue Account) subsidy system. Exclusions will be subject to individual agreements between the Secretary of State and each local authority.

The funding, which will be available over two years, is expected to deliver up to 900 new homes for social rent, built to high environmental standards. All homes must be completed in the financial year 2010/11 and the deadline for the first round of bidding will be 31 July 2009 with successful bidders being announced in September.

Sir Bob said: "This funding is another significant milestone in the house building industry. It will empower local authorities to once again deliver new homes in line with the needs of their communities and bring another ‘player on to the development pitch’.

"The timecale is tight, but we really want to see the finished results as soon as possible. Many local authorities will already have land in their ownership with planning consent, so we are confident of delivery."

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