Government green paper says extra money will see supply of affordable homes rise to 70,000 units per year

The government has announced a £3bn spending boost for affordable to help prime minister Gordon Brown’s ambitious target to increase housing provision to 240,000 homes per annum.

Housing minister Yvette Cooper announced yesterday that the upcoming comprehensive spending review, which is due to be unveiled in the autumn, will earmark £8bn for affordable homes over the next three years – a £3bn increase on the current round.

The announcement is contained in the housing green paper, which was launched yesterday. The green paper says the extra money will increase affordable housing output to 70,000 dwellings per annum by the end of the next CSR in 2010-11.

Of these homes, 45,000 will be social rented housing – more than double the level being built in 2004. The green paper also includes a goal of 50,000 new social homes per annum in the next spending review.

The green paper also includes an additional £300m for transport infrastructure to support new homes was also announced.

It also proposes

  • A new housing and planning delivery grant available to those councils which identify at least five years of appropriate land for development and working to bring long-term empty homes back into use
  • 14 new Local Housing Company joint ventures between councils and developers, delivering an estimated 35,000 new homes - at least half of them affordable housing. Local councils will contribute the land, sharing in any rise in value over time; and the developer will provide investment and skills.
  • New measures to discourage private sector builders from 'landbanking' by using tougher planning rules to force developers to put in place much of the infrastructure for a site within three years of gaining planning permission.
  • Extending the growth point initiative nationwide by allowing areas in northern England to bid for the first time bid for infrastructure funds to help unlock development sites
  • Carrying out mini-reviews of regional plans for housing to increase housing targets
  • Giving councils more flexibility to build housing allowing authorities to retain the full rents and full cash back from sales to tenants,
  • Making it easier for high performing councils to gain increased access to housing grants
  • New targets for affordable housing in rural areas
  • A government-led design competition for five new zero carbon eco-towns, providing 5,000 - 20,000 new homes each by 2016,
  • Existing protection for the green belt will be retained
  • 470 surplus Highways Agency and former British Rail sites have been identified covering approximately 2,500 acres