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Liberal Democrat News 9th December 2011

December 9, 2011 7:49 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Cash for new homes success

Councils are being rewarded for building new homes and bringing empty homes back into use under a new initiative announced by Liberal Democrat Communities Minister. Andrew Stunell announced the cash boost each authority in England would receive from the New Homes Bonus.

The money means councils are rewarded for building new homes and bringing empty homes back into use. In Birmingham, for instance, the Coalition has given £7.4m for delivering 1,100 new homes and bringing 1,330 empty homes back in to use. Other councils who have benefitted include: Tower Hamlets (£10m), Leeds (£5.4m), Cornwall (£5.1m), Manchester (£4.6m), Bradford (£3.9m), and Sheffield (£3.3m).

"These are very pleasing figures, showing that the New Homes Bonus is acting as a spur to get councils building new homes and bringing more empty homes back into use," said Andrew. "It's a win-win situation for local communities - £430m of extra funding for frontline services and 159,000 extra homes for local people.
"Labour's top-down approach to building homes just didn't work. It was unrealistic and ineffective, and didn't take into account local needs or wishes.
"Instead, the New Homes Bonus is introducing a culture change - making it easier to persuade local people to go for development, and rewarding communities that go for growth."

Under the scheme, Council Tax on each home is matched by the government for six years, with an extra £350 premium for every affordable home.
A national survey also revealed that nearly three quarters of councils thought the cash payments made a significant contribution towards funding local services, and more than four out of ten councils said it was now easier to persuade their local community about the benefits of growth.

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