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John Healey unveils £1.7bn PFI funds to build 11,200 homes

Housing minister John Healey today announced a £1.7 billion cash boost for 10 local authorities to build 11,200 new homes, which he claimed would create 20,000 jobs in the building industry.

Mr Healey announced a £1.7 billion cash boost for 10 local authorities under the housing private finance initiative.

Homes and Communities Agency chief executive Sir Bob Kerslake welcomed today’s housing announcement as an indication of “strong momentum and quick delivery through the HCA.” 

Sir Bob said: “We asked for transformational schemes which focused on local authorities’ place shaping ambitions for their areas and that is exactly what we got. The quality of the bids was high.

“That has put us in the enviable position of being able to recommend funding for schemes that will make a real difference and where there is strong value for money and a fit with locally identified needs and priorities.”

A total of twenty four bids were received for round six of the housing PFI, equating to over £4 billion.

Of these, 10 local authorities submitted successful bids, which subject to final business plans, total around £1.7 billion, across six out of the nine English regions and made up of seven estate based regeneration schemes and three new build housing schemes, two of which include extra care housing.

Housing minister John Healey said: “At a time when private house building has declined dramatically during the recession, government investment and action means more affordable homes are now being built more quickly and we are helping to keep the construction industry going.

“We have had to make some tough decisions across government about where we spend our money but we need to build more homes in Britain.”

He added that there had been more than 300 bids from developers for the government’s new Kickstart fund – first announced in the Budget and now topped up to £1 billion – to unlock stalled private sector developments through the HCA.

The local council schemes to benefit from the PFI funding are:

• Birmingham City Council – estate based regeneration

• Hull City Council – estate based regeneration

• Leeds City Council – new build housing

• Northants Borough Council – estate based regeneration

• Nottingham City Council – estate based regeneration

• Portsmouth City Council – estate based regeneration

• London Borough of Southwark – estate based regeneration

• Stoke City Council – estate based regeneration

• Cornwall County Council – extra care and general needs housing

• Shropshire County Council – extra care housing.

In addition, the London Borough of Camden, an Estate Based Regeneration bid, has been placed on a reserve list.

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