Housing

Government vows to build 300,000 new homes every year in Homes England launch

The new housing agency was unveiled by Housing Secretary Sajid Javid, who promised to hit the annual mark until the mid-2020s

Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid has marked his extended remit by launched new rebranded housing agency Homes England in a bid to hit government targets of building 300,000 homes every year until the mid-2020s.

The Conservative MP, who was named the Secretary of State for Communities, Housing and Local Government in Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle this week, revealed that the agency will aim to secure land in areas where people want to live as well as supporting smaller and more innovative house builders in the market.

The service, which is replacing the Homes and Community Agency, is also planning to access previously developed land from across England to deliver homes for families as they seek to tackle the housing crisis as outlined in the government’s Housing White Paper.

Javid visited Alconbury in Cambridgeshire to launch Homes England today. The former airfield will bring 5,000 new homes across the 1,420-acre site on the back of government funding to build more homes.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid, who has been vocal in his wishes to emulate Finland’s Housing First model before being tasked with the top housing job, said: “This government is determined to build the homes our country needs and help more people get on the housing ladder. Homes England will be at the heart of leading this effort.

“The development at Alconbury is a prime example of how the agency has worked to deliver thousands of new homes, as well as improve roads and create space for local businesses.

“The new agency will be key in replicating this approach right across the country and will help us build a Britain fit for the future.”

Homes England is planning to use brownfield registers – a list of land available for residential development – to identify areas to build homes.

This government is determined to build the homes our country needs and help more people get on the housing ladder

So far, around 310 local authorities have published a register, revealing 26,000 hectares of developable land on over 16,000 sites. More registers expected to be published over the next few weeks.

The agency has already been supporting developments across the country, including 10,000 new homes on a brownfield site northwest of Cambridge and a 3,200 new homes site in South Yorkshire.

Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England, said: “As Homes England, we will use our land, finance and expertise to expand the delivery of affordable new homes and connect ambitious partners to remove barriers to house building.”

Thousands of people – many of them young – are hidden in hostels, shelters and sofas. Read more about the problem in this week’s Big Issue magazine.

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