HCA and AGMA agree housing priorities

The Homes & Communities Agency and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities have formally signed the second Greater Manchester Local Investment Agreement for housing across the sub-region.

The HCA said it will help local authorities to accelerate the release of land by using a range of specially developed tools, including Build Now, Pay Later, a scheme to get developers working on new homes without facing the expense of buying the land upfront.

This approach is designed to help meet government plans to release enough public land to build as many as 100,000 new homes by 2015.

This second agreement follows the success of the first agreement launched in December 2009, which, during its 15-month life, helped secure £41m extra funding from the HCA, leading to the development of more than 1,100 affordable homes in Greater Manchester. As a result of this first agreement, nearly £400m in total was invested across Greater Manchester.

Lord Peter Smith, chairman of AGMA, said: "At a time when public funds are diminishing, we are delighted that all partners' efforts through our first Agreement have resulted in over 1,100 much-needed new homes for Greater Manchester. Our new Local Investment Agreement will be particularly important over the next few years, when our partnership with the HCA and others will be vital in enabling us to carry on our hard work to provide affordable homes for our residents, and to deliver our shared vision for the economic growth vital for the future of Greater Manchester."

Deborah McLaughlin, executive director North West at the HCA, said: "By accelerating land release we can actively drive affordable housing delivery across Greater Manchester, ensuring that we can continue to provide our valuable support in a more effective, targeted way."

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