Local Housing Companies unveiled by CLG

Published on: 06/11/2007

The government has announced new proposals aimed at allowing thousands of first-time buyers and key workers to take their first steps on the housing ladder.

New Local Housing Companies (LHCs) were unveiled earlier today by Housing minister Yvette Cooper, which will allow local authorities to offer financial deals to potential buyers.

Under the scheme local authorities will offer surplus public land to the LHC, who would then work with homebuilders to agree a development plan.

The scheme will allow councils to maintain partial control over land sold to developers, in turn encouraging homebuilders to provide more social housing.

Previously local authorities had little control over land once it had been sold, and were consequently unable to influence its development.

It is thought the percentage of social housing built in new developments could be doubled to an average of 50 per cent under the scheme.

Uniling the plans, Ms Cooper said: “We urgently need to build more homes for first-time buyers and families.

“That is why we are investing 10.2 billion to increase affordable and social housing.

“But government cannot deliver this alone.

“This is a new way to help councils to do their bit to support new homes for key workers and families in their areas.”

Today saw the presentation of guidance for establishing LHCs in a number of local authorities which have shown interest in the scheme.

These include Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Plymouth and Manchester.

It is hoped by taking the land cost out of the building equation, developers will provide equivalent investment and the necessary construction skills.


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