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London gets the most funding for housing, says CPRE

Words: Laura Edgar
Money / iStock-185267728

Government schemes intended to promote and increase the level of housebuilding are ‘skewed’ towards London and the South East, according to CPRE’s breakdown of government figures.

Countryside charity CPRE believes this “directly contradicts” the government’s agenda to ‘level up’ the whole country.

According to its analysis, the government is investing three times more in new housing schemes in London and the South East than it is in the Midlands and in the Northern Powerhouse.

The funding allocations have been made from the New Homes Bonus, the Housing Infrastructure Fund and the Home Building Fund. CPRE said the total spending on housing schemes in Greater London is equal to that for the Midlands and the North combined.

Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at CPRE, said: “This week the chancellor is expected to outline his ‘big infrastructure’ Budget aimed at levelling up forgotten parts of the country. But the majority of investment to encourage and reward housebuilding over the past three years has been spent in London and the South East. This is unacceptable as the housing crisis is not just affecting the South East but is holding back large parts of the country, including our rural communities across England.

“If the chancellor is serious about levelling up the country, he must reverse this imbalance immediately and put left-behind communities at the heart of his Budget. It is these communities who desperately need well-designed new places which can be delivered with a fairer share of housing investment from central government.”

CPRE wants the government to reform programmes that are intended to support housing growth, such as the Housing Investment Fund and the New Homes Bonus, so that there is a “more explicit focus on regenerating deprived areas”.

The study says there is scope to build “nearly four times more” new homes on suitable brownfield land in the Northern Powerhouse, and “at least an equal number” of homes on suitable brownfield sites in the Midlands.

To level up, a fairer share of central government funding should go to schemes in the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine to develop and build on brownfield sites and contribute to urban regeneration, it adds.

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