£300m available for affordable homes

HUNDREDS of millions of pounds are "up for grabs" for councils to build more affordable homes.

A second round of bidding has been launched as the government said 15 councils could borrow £60m in additional funds over two years to build more than 1,000 homes.

The government has made up to £300m available in lending after local authorities asked for more borrowing powers.

Housing minister Kris Hopkins said: "Councils asked for extra borrowing powers - and we have delivered.

Council housebuilding starts were now at a 23-year high – and more council housing had been built since 2010 than in the previous 13 years, said Mr Hopkins.

He added: "We can go further and with these new borrowing powers available I want authorities to act, and build the affordable homes their communities want."

Housebuilding was a key part of the government's long-term economic plan, said Mr Hopkins. Since 2010, nearly 200,000 affordable homes had been delivered.

The first 15 successful bids for the extra borrowing totalled £60m of the £300m, said Mr Hopkins, which meant another £240m was still available.

The money was "up for grabs" for councils that could can put in bids which met a simple criteria – ensuring taxpayers got the value for money they rightly expected.

The 15 councils that successfully applied for borrowing include Wiltshire Council, which will now be able to borrow £2.7m to build 90 affordable homes.

Another local authority, Cheshire West and Chester Council, will now be able to borrow £7.5m to build 23 affordable homes.


Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates.