Minister announces new cash for affordable homes

The government has announced an increase of £365 million to
finance social housing, including a new £200 million challenge
fund to provide 4,000 new homes for rent and low cost sale in the
south east, writes Anabel Unity Sale.

Speaking at the annual National Housing Federation conference in
Birmingham, housing minister Lord Rooker said the additional
resources will see the approved development fund that attracts bids
from housing associations, increase to £1.28 billion for

The challenge fund aims to provide affordable accommodation in
high demand areas in London and the south east, which should
include housing for key public sector workers.

Rooker said: “We will also expect to see a proportion to be
allocated to key public service workers though we will leave it to
the bidders to propose the mix between this and conventional social

He added that more needed to be done to encourage people to stay
in unpopular areas.

Housing charity Shelter warned that new affordable homes must be
targeted to homelees families currently living in bed and breakfast
and hostels.

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