Housing minister Caroline Flint today announced the first extension of the Government's Growth Points initiative to the North West, naming six council areas which will receive funding alongside increased targets for affordable housing.
Manchester was also named as one of the first four recipients of the new Local Housing Companies in the country. Councils will put forward their surplus land into the Local Housing Company and "have a full part in agreeing the development", which must include at least 50% affordable homes. In return, private developers "provide the equivalent investment and homes and skills needed to build the homes".
The local authorities who have successfully bid for Growth Point status in the North West are:
Greater Manchester will receive £250,000 immediate funding for planning. Manchester, Trafford, Salford, and Bolton combined will build 11,250 more homes than previously planned. Growth Point status could be extended to the remaining local authorities in Greater Manchester: Wigan, Stockport, Oldham, Tameside, Rochdale and Bury at a later date
Mersey Heartlands: Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, will build almost 4,500 more homes than previously planned, and will receive £200,000 immediate funding for planning.
Halton, St Helens, Warrington, Knowsley: 5,700 more homes than previously planned and receive £150,000 for planning.
Central Lancashire and Blackpool: Blackpool, Preston, South Ribble, Chorley and Lancashire, will build 4,000 more homes and receive £150,000.
West Cheshire: Chester, Ellesmere Port & Neston, Vale Royal, will build 2,700 more homes than planned and receive £150,000
Carlisle will build 1,350 more homes than planned and receive £100,000.
The Government also announced a rent-first-buy-later scheme whereby households earning £60,000 a year or less will to able to rent a new home at a discounted rate for a period of two to three years. They will have the option to buy a part share in the home. The affordable rent, which will be 80% of the market rent or less, will enable the household to save for a deposit to buy the share in the home.