Magazine article Public Finance

Darling Told to Increase Funding for Buying Up Unwanted Homes

Magazine article Public Finance

Darling Told to Increase Funding for Buying Up Unwanted Homes

Article excerpt

The government is coming under increasing pressure to set aside more money to buy up unwanted homes from private developers.

The Home Builders Federation wants Chancellor Alistair Darling to announce in the Pre-Budget Report that he will increase the existing £200m pot tenfold to buy around 15,000 homes that are standing empty across England.

The HBF's appeal came as it emerged that £90m has now been allocated - mostly to housing associations - while the Housing Corporation is considering bids to spend as much again over the next few months.

Speaking at a major housing conference in York on November 18, Richard McCarthy, director general for housing and planning at the Department for Communities and Local Government, said enough money had been allocated to purchase 2,600 homes.

He urged housing association leaders attending the Northern Housing Summit to take the opportunity to buy up more homes and gain maximum benefit from the government's three-year National Affordable Housing Programme.

Speaking later to Public Finance, McCarthy said it was almost certain that the £200m sum would be exceeded. …

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