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January 5, 2016

UK announces policy-shift to expedite affordable housing development

UK has announced a new policy to fast-track the development of thousands of new affordable homes in the country on publicly-owned land.

By Shreosree Banerjee

UK has announced a new policy to fast-track the development of thousands of new affordable homes in the country on publicly-owned land.

The policy will expedite up to 30,000 new home constructions on five government-owned sites across the country.

Along with the formerly announced RAF Oakington base in Northstowe near Cambridge, the UK government will also carry out pilot for direct commissioning on sites in Dover, Chichester, Gosport, and Old Oak Common in London.

Planning permissions for all the five sites have been secured, which include Connaught Barracks in Dover Northstowe in Cambridgeshire, Lower Graylingwell in Chichester, Daedelus on Waterfront in Gosport, and Old Oak Common in London.

"Nothing like this has been done on this scale in three decades, with the government rolling its sleeves up and directly getting homes built."

The government has also announced an additional £1.2bn ‘starter home’ fund for setting up 30,000 affordable homes on underused brownfield land within the next five years.

This policy-shift is expected to help small-scale developers to participate in the process, who had recently been unable to take up big projects.

Up to 13,000 homes are expected to be developed under the first phase of the policy on four sites outside of London in this year. Around 40% of these have been planned to be affordable ‘starter’ homes.

This initiative is expected to help the country in achieving its commitment to create 200,000 starter homes by 2020.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Today’s package signals a huge shift in government policy. Nothing like this has been done on this scale in three decades, with the government rolling its sleeves up and directly getting homes built."

UK communities secretary Greg Clark said: "Today’s radical new approach will mean the government will directly commission small and up-and-coming companies, to build thousands of new homes on sites right across the country."

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