London mayor will announce first schemes to get government help to restart stalled sites
The government’s housing and regeneration agency is close to announcing a series of deals that it hopes will kick-start stalled regeneration schemes.
After months of negotiation with housebuilders and housing associations, the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) London board is today expected to be sign off a shortlist of about a dozen schemes that it will target for intervention.
The deals will involve the body, formed by merging English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation, trying a variety of approaches, including taking equity stakes in schemes, front-funding infrastructure and buying sites.
This could lead to thousands of homes being built, but the amount of money the HCA has to spend on the initiative is unclear.
London mayor Boris Johnson, will reveal the first lot of schemes that will be targeted next week, following a meeting of the HCA board that he will chair.
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey is known to be in discussion with the HCA over a number of schemes, since it offered to sell land to the agency last autumn.
Alan Cherry, chair of Countryside Properties, said his company was also in talks about sites that could deliver up to 6,000 homes, 4,000 of which would be in London. Mark Clare, Barratt’s chief executive, said he was discussing several sites, which would have more than 250 homes on them.
David Eastgate, chief executive of Hyde Housing, said the firm had bid for help on schemes involving 1,500 homes. Stephen Stone, Crest Nicholson’s chief executive, said he was negotiating over “hundreds of homes”.
Berkeley Homes said it was in talks about the HCA funding infrastructure and community facilities in exchange for a profit share in developments.
Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the HCA, said: “We’ve talked to all the major housebuilders.”