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Funding announced for home-building

Government funding amounting to £1.3bn to be used for building and infrastructure projects, has been announced. One of the aims is to build 45,000 new homes, creating 85,000 jobs into the bargain.

Over 300 ‘shovel-ready’ projects in various parts of England are to be allocated a share of the £900m Getting Building Fund, while a further £360m investment is promised to deliver 26,000 new homes on brownfield land.

Announcing the funding, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the scheme was laying the foundations for a green economic recovery.

‘This government is determined to level up all parts of the country and this funding will not only give a much needed boost to our economic recovery, it will help build the good quality, affordable homes the country needs’.

The £360m home-building project is to come via the Mayoral Combined Authority areas’ Brownfield Fund.

The Government is inviting ‘ambitious bids’ from the Mayoral Combined Authorities for use of the unallocated £40m which remains in the fund.

Details of the new £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme, which will see the Government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements of over 600,000 homes, have also been announced.

Tradespeople must register for TrustMark accreditation to take part in the scheme, which will cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of low-carbon heating, like heat pumps or solar thermal – measures that could help homeowners, including landlords, save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.

Households on low income can receive vouchers covering 100 per cent of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.

‘Green home improvements will save people money on their energy bills, help to cut carbon emissions, and create new work for many thousands of builders, plumbers and other tradespeople’ said Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma.

‘Our TrustMark scheme will guarantee that building work is completed to a high standard by accredited tradespeople, ensuring consumers are fully protected’.

The 300 plus successful projects which will each receive a share of £900m from the Getting Building Fund, were selected by Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities in each area and endorsed by the Housing Secretary. The full list of projects is available on GOV.UK.

  • The Help to Buy scheme has been extended to include homes whose completion has been delayed as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. Currently, new homes would have needed to been finished by the end of December in order to qualify. This deadline has been extended to 28 February 2021. A replacement scheme, which introduces property price caps and is restricted to first-time buyers, will commence from 1 April 2021 and run until March 2023.
  • Following announcement of further details of the Government’s Green Homes Grant, the NRA is claiming a campaigning victory. ‘It has now been confirmed that energy efficiency work, funded through government grants, must be carried out by TrustMark qualified engineers, in line with NRLA recommendations’, it said. ‘Today’s announcement is good news for landlords and tenants, and demonstrates what can be achieved when the Government works constructively with landlords’, said NRLA policy director Chris Norris. Vouchers will be available from September – although details of how landlords can apply for the funding have yet to be announced.