£400m boost for affordable housing

By Benedict O'ConnorA £431MILLION affordable housing bonanza has been announced for the East of England.Housing minister Keith Hill revealed the new funding settlement while visiting a housing scheme in Newmarket yesterday.

By Benedict O'Connor

A £431MILLION affordable housing bonanza has been announced for the East of England.

Housing minister Keith Hill revealed the new funding settlement while visiting a housing scheme in Newmarket yesterday.

Mr Hill confirmed the funding - to build houses for key workers such as nurses and firefighters over the next two financial years - was the second highest sum for any region in the country and represented a 44% increase on the previous settlement.


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“I think this will make a massive contribution to the availability of affordable housing in the East of England, it's a growth area for housing,” he said.

“The Government have listened and responded to that need, but we are also responding to the region's growth generally.”

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Mr Hill said the Government was also committed to providing the infrastructure in terms of roads, health care and education that would be needed to support the population and economic growth.

He added the money would go towards providing affordable housing for the existing population, as well as incoming residents.

The announcement was welcomed by Caroline Bowdler, chairman of the Regional Housing Board, who said: “This is very good news for the East of England.

“The Government has recognised that if the region is to deliver its growth agenda and achieve a better balance between housing supply and demand, we need the necessary funding.”

The funding announcement was made at a development of 94 affordable homes in George Lambton Avenue, Newmarket, backed by Forest Heath District Council.

David Burnip, council chief executive, said: “Any contribution towards the need for affordable housing has got to be welcomed and we will continue to play our part working with local housing associations to ensure the needs of residents are fulfilled.”

Bruce Rutterford, council vice-chairman, added: “The more homes we can provide for young people to start them on the housing ladder, the better it will be for the whole community.

“We need to keep the workforce we have and be able to attract people to support the growth of the region and this announcement goes some way to achieving that.”

benedict.o'connor@eadt.co.uk

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