The Priorities include:
– Conducting site remediation, assembly and infrastructure work to make what might be perceived as marginal development opportunities as attractive to developers as greenfield sites.
– Focusing on how potential homebuyers in Pathfinder areas can most effectively be helped to access mortgage finance.
– Concentrating on developing skills and creating new jobs through training programmes, local labour initiatives and wider economic regeneration.
Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “I anticipate Pathfinders concentrating now on immediate action to assemble attractive development opportunities, create jobs and help people into sustainable homeownership during the market downturn. And they will need to this alongside the holistic and innovative approach which has done so much for community engagement and cohesion, bringing people together to develop a shared vision for the future of their neighbourhoods.
“That’s why at the HCA we are investing £311 million in Pathfinder areas this year alone, with an additional 10% available as they demonstrate dynamic and effective market leadership.”
Commenting on the Audit Commission review which found that Pathfinders had made good progress to date and were well positioned to weather the current economic conditions, Sir Bob added:
“I welcome robust assessment of our work and I am pleased that this report highlights the many pathfinder successes as well as some of the challenges posed by the market downturn, from which no part of the country is immune.
“Less than halfway through a 15 year Programme, Pathfinders have already made significant progress which is best seen at a local level where many neighbourhoods have been improved with fewer vacant properties, cleared sites, local labour and training initiatives, and the start of new build housing.
“And as the report concludes Pathfinders have built strong foundations and are well placed to weather the current economic conditions.”
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