Government fast tracks funding for social housing

Published:  16 December, 2011

LONDON: The government is close to completing the sign off of its £1.8bn affordable housing funding programme. Homes and Communities Agency chiefs have signed a deal with the Hyde housing association group for £25m, bringing the total funding agreements sealed under its programme to £1.5bn.

Under the agreement Hyde will be able to go-ahead with plans to build more than 1,000 homes in London and the southeast.

A £15m funding deal was also signed with the Halifax-based Together Group, which plans to build more than 400 homes in the East Yorkshire and Humber region as well as 350 affordable homes in the northwest.

The government is fast-tracking its affordable housing programme after latest official figures showed a complete collapse of HCA-funded housing starts across Britain.

As part of the push to break ground on new projects, the HCA has written to social housing landlords pledging to pay a 'start on site' tranche of cash for new build schemes that break ground by 31 March.

This will involve an interim payment of 75% of the agreed grant, payable once starts have been confirmed, with the balance payable at completion.

For schemes on site after March 31, grant will only be released after the homes have been completed in line with the original terms of the AHP deals.

The Government hopes to unveil details of plans to invite bids for a second wave of grants next year.

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