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February 29, 2008

Housing Market Renewal programme revealed by the Government

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by Kay Mitchell

Housing Market Renewal programme revealed by the Government

A new Housing Market Renewal programme has been unveiled by the Government which is to focus on areas where house prices have collapsed and abandonment is widespread.

The new initiative will cost over £1 billion and is expected to revitalise the housing market.

Up to £54 million a year will be made available to 12 ‘Pathfinder’ areas over the next 3 years with Merseyside, East Lancashire, Salford, South Yorkshire and Northern Staffordshire all set to receive £100 million.

Junior housing minister Iain Wright said the Housing Market Renewal Programme has been crucial for restoring confidence in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country.

This funding, together with increasing investment from the private sector and support from local authorities and others, will help the market renewal areas take forward their ambitious programmes to bring real change to places which only 5 years ago were facing decline and abandonment. This is a long-term programme, and there is still much work to do, added Mr Wright.

To date, £1.2 billion has been invested in the scheme with 40,000 homes refurbished, 10,000 properties demolished and 1,100 homes built.

A national Audit Office study of the scheme so far reveals a closing of regional house price gaps within Pathfinder areas and rises in house prices.

Areas set to benefit from the new programme are Birmingham Sandwell, East Lancashire, Hull and East Riding, Manchester Salford, Merseyside, Newcastle Gateshead, North Staffordshire, Oldham Rochdale, South Yorkshire, Tees Valley and West Cumbria.


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