A £1 billion housing development fund has been announced by the government and Barclays, to help deliver thousands of new homes across England.
Developers with the necessary experience required to carry out and complete their proposed project will have access to loans ranging from £5 million to £100 million under the agreement.
It is hoped that the funding will diversify the housing market, just 10 companies are responsible for almost two thirds of homes built at present. Existing Barclays customers have access to the funding, as do new clients.
The main priority of the Housing Delivery Fund is to increase the productivity of small and medium sized businesses in the housing sector, allowing them to build more homes to rent or sell, whilst also creating more social housing. The fund is also designed to support innovation on brownfield land and urban regeneration projects.
‘There is a vital need to build more good quality homes across the country. This £1 billion fund is about helping to do exactly that by showing firms in the business of house building that the right finance is available for projects that help meet this urgent need,’ said John McFarlane, Barclays’ chairman.
Housing Secretary James Brokenshire points out that it will see Barclays in partnership with Homes England, with the two coming together to support the design and innovation introduced to new home building.
‘It is a further important step by giving smaller builders access to the finance they need to get housing developments off the ground. This is a fantastic opportunity to not only get more homes built but also promote new and innovative approaches to construction and design that exist across the housing market,’ he added.
The organisation will also play a more active role in the housing market, allowing developments to take shape at a faster pace, on a bigger scale, and at a higher standard, according to Sir E Lister, chairman of Homes England.
‘The Housing Delivery Fund demonstrates Barclays’ commitment to the residential sector and will provide a new funding stream for SME developers to help progress sites and deliver more affordable homes across England,’ he said.
Brokenshire added that it will move towards the target of 300,000 new homes being built a year by the mid-2020s and that with 217,000 homes built last year, England has seen the biggest increase in housing supply for almost a decade.