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Social housing backed with £2.7bn government investment

The government has unveiled a £2.67bn investment package for affordable homes across England.

It expects around 23,000 affordable homes will be delivered through a £1.67bn government investment.

At least 12,500 of these will be homes for social rent in high-cost areas.

This funding will be earmarked for areas outside of London, as the capital received a matched £1.67bn investment in March.

In addition, local authorities have been invited to bid for a share of £1bn of extra borrowing that will be available to all areas of England.

Martin Bellinger, executive chairman of property developer Guildmore, said today’s announcement showed “changing public and political sentiment” towards council housing, but that the private sector should be drafted in to help hit social housing targets.

“Public bodies can’t be expected to deliver all of these homes on their own and, using the extra £1bn funding cap, must move towards forming collaborative and effective partnerships with experienced private enterprise,” he said.

Ed Fowkes, development director at private equity real estate investor Prosperity Capial Partners, raised doubts over how much the new funding could deliver.

He said: “Unfortunately the 23,000 new affordable homes are unlikely to even scratch the surface of the current housing crisis.”

Mr Fowkes added: “The £1bn funding cap rise for local authorities to deliver homes is a good one, but with land prices high and, more importantly, construction costs rising, the amount of affordable homes delivered is likely to be reduced.”

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