Shortlist of 224 schemes announced - but despite extra £150m government admits no extra homes to be built
David Cameron has announced an extra £150m for the government’s flagship scheme aimed at unlocking stalled development sites, but the department running the scheme has admitted the extra cash will not add to the total number of homes to be delivered.
The prime minister said the extra £150m would go into the £420m pot for the Get Britain Building fund, bringing the total amount available to £570m.
When the fund was launched last November, the government said the initial £420m investment over 2012-13 and 2013-14 was expected to unlock the building of up to 16,000 homes on sites that are currently stalled.
Today the Department for Communities and Local Government admitted that the extra £150m announced by the prime minister would not bring forward more than the 16,000 homes already indicated.
She said the initial estimate for the number of homes to be built through the scheme was between 12,000 and 16,000 and that the extra £150m now made the top figure a “firmer estimate”.
The admission came as the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) published a shortlist of 224 schemes that would receive a share of the funding.
The HCA said the shortlisted schemes would now undergo a due diligence process, with the funding allocations to projects to be announced from May and work restarting on sites across the country from June.
The scheme, which is aimed at unlocking housing schemes that have stalled due to the economic downturn, has been overwhelmed with bids and is three times oversubscribed, housing minister Grant Shapps admitted last month.
In February the Homes & Communities Agency said it had fast-tracked 18 housing schemes though the programme in a bid to kick start construction on 1,300 homes.
The fund replaces Labour’s effort in 2009 to unlock stalled sites, called Kickstart, which was worth £900m in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
The Homes and Communities Agency ended that scheme in 2010 after being hit with £450m in-year reduction to its budget as part of the coalition government’s spending cuts.