Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced in April 2014 that new borrowing powers will enable councils to build up to 10,000 affordable homes.

Cricket bat and ballFrom the 7th April 2014 Councils can bid for a share of £300 million extra borrowing which is available for a two year period from 2015.  The extra borrowing will be made available through an increase in Councils housing revenue borrowing cap.

Ministers have also advised that rules regarding Councils land sales would change to enable more surplus and redundant Council land and property to be released for residential housing.  They have also advised that as of 7th April 2014 Councils will be able to sell their vacant land at below market value if it is then used to build affordable housing.

The press release advises ‘The extra funding and flexibilities will enable councils to complement government’s affordable housing programme, which is on track to deliver 170,000 homes by 2015, and a further 165,000 between 2015 and 2018.’

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:  ‘This additional borrowing flexibility, together with funding from the sales of high value social homes and other forms of local investment will deliver 10,000 new affordable housing over the next few years – supporting the construction sector and providing new homes.’

Whilst these changes relate specifically to affordable housing; there have also been other recent proposals put forward by the Government to aid development for small scale private developments; by way of The Builders Finance Fund.  Please click here for further information.