The Government and Barclays have announced a £1 billion housing development fund to help deliver thousands of new homes across England.
Under the agreement loans ranging from £5 million to £100 million, which will be competitively priced, will be available for developers and house builders who are able to demonstrate the necessary experience and track record to undertake and complete their proposed project.
Funding is open to new clients as well as existing Barclays clients, and will put greater emphasis on diversifying the housing market, as at present almost two thirds of homes are built by just 10 companies.
A key priority of The Housing Delivery Fund is to support small and medium sized businesses to develop homes for rent or sale including social housing, retirement living and the private rented sector, whilst also supporting innovation in the model of delivery such as 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 said that it will see Barclays in partnership with Homes England also help to see more 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.
According to Sir E Lister, chairman of Homes England, the organisation will play a more active role in the housing market and do things differently to increase the pace, scale and quality of delivering new homes.
‘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.