Housing Infrastructure Fund – Government Announces First Successful Bids
WRITTEN BY Local Partnerships
POSTED ON 2nd February 2018
The government has today announced the first successful bids for funding support under their Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) programme. HIF is the government’s £5 billion fund, launched in July 2017, which is designed to unlock up to 200,000 new homes in areas of high demand.
Funding has been awarded to local authorities on a highly competitive basis, following a heavily oversubscribed bidding process last year. This grant funding for new infrastructure is intended to unlock new homes in the areas of greatest housing demand.
The bids that have been approved today have involved the approval of capital funding for 133 successful bids under the Marginal Viability Fund strand of HIF, worth £866 million.
Chancellor Philip Hammond, launching the announcement, said “This fund finances vital infrastructure such as roads, schools and bridges, which will kick-start housing development in some of Britain’s highest-demand areas”.
Under this strand of HIF, government is providing funding for the final or missing piece of infrastructure to get additional sites allocated or existing sites unblocked quickly. There is now a clear expectation from government that the infrastructure will be built soon after schemes have been awarded funding, and for the homes to follow at pace.
The government will work with local authorities over the coming months to progress schemes through detailed funding clarification.
The government is still considering bids put forward under the Forward Fund strand of HIF, where it is looking to back a small number of strategic and high-impact infrastructure schemes. Under that strand of HIF, the government may put in the first amount of funding, which then gives the market confidence to provide further investment and make more land available for development and future homes.
We are tasked by our owners HM Treasury, the Local Government Association and the Welsh Government to help councils accelerate housing development to meet their regeneration and housing growth objectives. As part of this we supported a number of the Councils who have today been awarded HIF funding. This includes Sheffield, Wirral and East Cambridgeshire, to whom we send congratulations.
Our expertise includes practical procurement and delivery expertise to bridge relationship gaps with developers, and maximise the commercial opportunities available to the public sector. We bring public and private sector experience that helps provide confidence, capacity and capability to councils and Combined Authorities who have housing supply and regeneration ambitions – with or without HIF funding.
We would be happy to provide support to successful HIF bidders now expected to deliver infrastructure and homes at pace. We can also provide support to local authorities who have, so far, been unsuccessful in obtaining HIF funding to revisit their proposals and deliver their housing growth plans through other methods.
Our team of experts works solely for the benefit of the public sector, helping councils and combined authorities overcome challenges and improve their chances of success. For more information, contact:
Martin Walker, Programme Director – Housing