Think Tank Suggests New National Housing Fund

Whether you are a property developer or someone looking to buy or rent a property you are probably aware that there is a shortage of residential properties available in the UK. The Government is no doubt keen to look at any reasonable suggestions as to how this issue can be resolved.

Well, the think tank called ResPublica has had a report commissioned entitled “THE NATIONAL HOUSING FUND: An understanding of the economic benefits and implications for housing supply”.

The National Housing Fund would provide up to £10 billion per annum with the funds being provided via the Government to SME developers to help them build a minimum of 40,000 homes every year for the next 10 years. Property developers could apply for development finance from the fund towards the building project at competitive rates of interest. It is being forecast that the scheme would provide the construction industry with another 180,000 job opportunities.

The report has the support of a number of large housing associations that, collectively, would have a stake of 50% in the above fund along with the Government that would hold the same percentage stake. Apparently, over many years there have only been around 150,000 homes built in the UK every year yet there is the need for some 200,000 homes to be built annually. It is hoped that, if the recommendations contained in the above report are met, then the number of homes being built each year will increase.

It will be interesting to monitor if the recommendations in the above report are taken on board by the Government and put into practice. We will keep our readers up to date. If the fund is created then it will provide another avenue for some property developers to arrange finance. If the fund is set up then an announcement will no doubt be made to include full details of the scheme i.e. min/max amounts available to borrow, repayment term, interest rate and fees payable.

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