Mr Shapps argued that the short, simple and straightforward application process has made it easier for smaller building companies, as well as larger developers, to bid for funding.
Taken together, the bids received so far cover 392 individual sites. But overall, this £420million investment is expected to unlock the building of up to 16,000 homes on sites that are currently stalled – creating up to 30,000 jobs in construction and related industries by 2014.
Mr Shapps also published details of 18 of the most important local housing sites that subject to due diligence and contracting could benefit from Government cash to get builders back to work.
The Minister confirmed that these 18 developments will go to the next stage of assessment for £45million funding from this scheme to get workers back on site and deliver 1,300 new homes.
Cheeseman’s Green, Ashford – includes plans for 140 new homes
Millbay Docks, Plymouth – includes plans for 96 homes
Newark Southern Extension – includes plans for 100 homes
Grant Shapps said:
"With the Prime Minister putting housing centre stage in the road to economic recovery we are pulling out all the stops to get the jobs created and the red tape cut to ensure we get the homes this country needs built.
"So I am greatly encouraged by the clamour from developers large and small to get Britain building by applying for a share of our £420million fund to unlock stalled sites across the country.
"And today, I can confirm that 18 of the most difficult sites have already been identified to potentially share £45million to resolve the issues they face, get builders back on site and over 1,300 homes built. I look forward to seeing the results of the competition and the houses that result."
Pat Ritchie, chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, said:
"This excellent response to our programme puts us in a strong position to take forward those schemes which offer the very best value for money, make the biggest difference locally, and can re-start on site quickly. The link between housing and economic growth is well established, and in ensuring delivery of 16,000 new homes, investment through the Homes and Communities Agency will also help create new jobs and local economic activity."
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