Government funding of £123m for 73 local authorities will require the use of apprentices
Housing minister John Healey today announced that 73 councils will be given £123m to build over 4,000 new council homes, as part of the government's commitment to increase council house building.
Healey said any councils accessing the cash would be required to use apprentices, meaning the money would create 7,500 jobs and 100 new apprenticeship places in total.
The grants marks the second phase of the government's council housebuilding programme, called Local Authority New Build. The government committed to spending the money in June last year, with today's announcement identifying the successful councils to build the 4,103 houses.
Thirty-five of the councils to receive money were already in receipt of the first phase of government cash, with the remaining 38 councils will receive housebuilding money for the first time. The councils include Durham, Doncaster, Reading and Dudley which together shared £9.2m of government money. Councils are required to match the government funding with their own borrowing in order to pay for the homes.
Healey said: "Councils have shown they're ready and willing to build new homes, so I'm ready to back them. This year's government spending for affordable housing will be the largest for at least two decades.
He added that 40% of the homes will be three and four-bedroom family homes and all will be built to high energy efficiency standards.
Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, said: "The level of interest has been tremendous and demonstrates the appetite of local authorities to lead directly on affordable housing supply. Deciding between the bids has been challenging, but the outcome is a really strong set of schemes that meet a high standard. I am particularly pleased with the number intending to deliver to a higher energy efficient standard."
A full list of the successful local authorities and the schemes to be funded is available to download from the HCA website.