Almost £83m will boost affordable housing provision and create apprenticeship places

Over 5,000 new and affordable homes have been unlocked in the first tranche of Kickstart round two.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) made the announcement as it completed its assessment of the first tranche of schemes for a share of the second round of Kickstart funding.

Around 87 of the 265 schemes shortlisted for round two were successful in receiving funding to unlock them and enable first time buyers to own their own home. Around a quarter of the successful developments are expected to be back on site by the end of March.

A total of almost £83m will be allocated to unlock 5,696 new homes. Around 3,500 of these will be affordable, of which nearly 2,200 will be made available through HomeBuy Direct, 345 through other low cost home ownership routes, and around 800 for social rent.

Eighty-five of the successful 87 schemes are expected to meet Level three of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the HCA, said: “This second round of funding will help many more schemes get back on track.

“The due diligence process for selecting these successful projects has been rigorous, assessing factors such as value for money, local fit, demand and sustainability to help ensure the homes meet the needs of the people who will live in them.”

Nearly 100 apprenticeships will be created in the round two schemes.

The funding announced today is in addition to £425m allocated through round one to deliver a total of over 6,000 new homes across 141 mothballed schemes which have been helped to restart on site.

It is hoped the money will aid struggling housebuilders by safeguarding over 1,700 jobs.

Housing minister John Healey said those receiving funding would have to provide apprenticeships and opportunities for local workers, meaning around 100 additional young people will be given the chance get involved in the building trade.

Developers receiving cash today have committed to get workers back on site by this time next year, and almost a quarter said they would have workers back on site by the end of the month.

However, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) warned that the support would come on tough terms, and was not a handout, with much of the money expected to be repaid within five years. Developers have also had to pass stringent value for money assessments carried out by the HCA to prove that each taxpayer pound is well spent.

A further announcement on other successful bidders in round two is expected in late spring.