//High level of interest in innovative Housing Fund

Published 18th October 2017 at 11:19am

There’s now less than a month left to apply for funds through a highly innovative new house-building scheme.

The Sheffield City Region Housing Fund is open for applications until Wednesday 15 November – and already there’s been an exceptionally high level of interest.

Public and private sector housing providers are now being encouraged to get their bids in before it’s too late.

Colin Blackburn, Assistant Director for Housing, Infrastructure and Planning at the Sheffield City Region Executive Team, said: “We’re really pleased with the level of interest we’ve had in the Housing Fund so far, and would strongly encourage others across the city region to apply before the 15 November deadline.

“Put simply, Sheffield City Region needs to build more homes. We’ve built almost 11,000 homes over three years and have set a target of 70,000 new homes by 2024.

“So, although we are building houses faster than any point in the last five years, and have managed to increase the rate of completion every year since 2012, we still need to do more to meet our ambitious housing target.

“The SCR Housing Fund is absolutely key to this.”

Launched in September this year, the pilot £8m Housing Fund prioritises ‘good’ schemes that can commence delivery soon after approval has been granted.

It plugs the gap in current national housing investment programmes, helping to unlock development opportunities, and will deliver much-needed new homes across the city region.

The majority of other funds currently available to support housing delivery are national funds, where competition between regions is extremely high.

By contrast, SCR’s Housing Fund is a regional fund; only available to support schemes delivered within the nine local authority areas which make up the city region.

Overseen by local authority leaders and private sector businesspeople with a knowledge of housing development, the Housing Fund will take a robust approach to appraising proposals.

Factors to be considered will include the cost per home, any increase in land value and local amenities, how much private sector and additional public sector resource can be generated, and what proportion of the investment will come back to the SCR.

Mr Blackburn added: “We are keen to have an early conversation with those who might be considering bids to the Fund, so we can support them throughout the process.

“Here at Sheffield City Region, we get things done in a straightforward and practical way, and are trusted to deliver.

“The Housing Fund, for example, offers a flexible approach to the allocation of monies, with various funding solutions available to meet the requirements of individual schemes across the region.”

To find out more about the Housing Fund, visit the website here, where further information including the full prospectus is available here.

Alternately, call Chris Collins-McKeown for an informal conversation on 0114 220 3451, or email chris.collins-mckeown@sheffieldcityregion.org.uk