The government will be working with Keith House and Natalie Elphicke to implement a Housing Finance Institute, as recommended by their review of the role of local authorities in housing supply, in conjunction with the Local Government Association and business.
Funded privately, this new body will address the skills and knowledge gap in delivering local authority housing identified as one of the key recommendations of their recent report into local authority housing.
This will enable the provision of dedicated support in areas such as setting up and managing public private sector joint ventures or developing capacity and skills in areas such as land assembly or developing investment vehicles.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:
This review clearly demonstrated that while local authorities play a key role in meeting housing needs across England, they need more support to help solve the country’s current housing crisis. That’s why today I can announce that we’re working with Natalie Elphicke and Keith House to provide dedicated support to councils to unlock more housing.
I have prioritised the investment of almost £2 billion to ensure we can deliver on average 55,000 new affordable homes a year until 2020. We are also taking the lead in exploring ways to boost housing supply: as I announced last year, we will be directly commissioning, building and selling homes to speed up the process at Northstowe in Cambridge. This new institute will help local authorities to make a big contribution to ensuring the UK builds new homes in the numbers our people need.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:
By placing housebuilding at the heart of our long-term economic plan, housing starts are now at their highest since 2007 and nearly 217,000 affordable homes have been delivered since 2010. And while building by councils is now at a 23-year high, it’s clear they could be doing more.
Today’s measure will ensure councils can develop the skills and knowledge they need to invest in building in their area, to deliver the homes their communities want.
Keith House said:
I’m delighted that the government is following through on one of our key recommendations and establishing a Housing Finance Institute.
By working together, central and local government, with the construction and finance industries, can make a real difference in boosting housing supply to solve the nation’s current housing crisis.
The precise scope, duration and governance will be confirmed in due course.