Communities across the country will be rewarded for their part in delivering hundreds of thousands of new homes, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said today (30 January 2015).
The minister published final allocations of New Homes Bonus payments to England’s 353 councils – totalling £1.2 billion this year.
This brings the total awarded to councils since the scheme’s introduction to £3.4 billion, for delivering more than 700,000 new homes and conversions, and bringing over 100,000 empty homes back into use.
The numbers of empty homes are now at a record low, while housebuilding starts are at a 7-year high.
New Homes Bonus payments reach £3.4 billion
The New Homes Bonus is a powerful and transparent incentive for communities and councils to say yes to new development in their area.
Launched in 2011, it is a permanent part of the local government finance system and matches the additional council tax raised for new homes and empty homes brought back into use for 6 years – with extra funding for new affordable homes.
Councils are then free to use that funding as they see fit to benefit their local area – from providing new facilities, to protecting frontline services or simply freezing council tax.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:
“In the past councils were penalised for supporting new housebuilding – now, thanks to the New Homes Bonus, those that build are rewarded for it.”
“Since the scheme’s launch communities have received some £3.4 billion for delivering over 700,000 new homes, and bringing empty homes down to a record low.”
“It continues to offer a clear incentive for residents to say yes to new development – on top of the powers we’ve given them to determine where homes get built in their area.”
Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:
“The New Homes Bonus payments we have made are a clear recognition of the effort councils have made to turn 100,000 empty properties into secure homes for families in need over the past 4 years.”
“But while the numbers of empty homes are now at a record low, I want to see councils continuing their strong efforts to ensure we don’t lose momentum and ensure we bring as many as possible back into use.”
Final allocations of New Homes Bonus payments to councils in England are published today.