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Government buys private homes for social use

A £13 million deal to buy unsold homes off the market was announced this week, as part of the Government’s programme of action to tackle the housing market crisis.
The deal is the first to go through the Government’s new National Clearing House, which enables house builders to put forward offers to sell their unsold stock for use as affordable housing, and receive early feedback on whether their properties are suitable for purchase.

The funding will mean that 335 affordable homes will be available, mainly for social rent, on sites across the country for families who would otherwise be on waiting lists following the agreement, between the Housing Corporation, Bloor Homes and housing provider Sanctuary Group.

Funding to purchase the homes comes from the Government’s initial £200 million tranche to buy unsold stock off the open market, providing it is of good quality and offers value for money. More than 2,000 unsold homes have now been bought by the Government for use as affordable housing, with many more deals in the pipeline

Housing Minister Margaret Beckett said: “This deal will help deliver much needed affordable homes whilst also supporting house builders facing difficult times. It is part of a range of actions we are taking to help overcome the current challenges in the housing market, and we will continue to look at what more we can do.”

Housing Corporation Director of Investment Richard Hill said: “The Housing Corporation is very pleased with the successful outcome of this early National Clearing House bid, and the constructive working relationship which has been forged with both Bloor Homes and Sanctuary Group. It is exactly what we were looking for when we launched this process.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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