Cooper gives cash injection for homes

Housing and planning minister Yvette Cooper has announced a £10.2 billion boost to affordable housing, bringing total funding in England to more than £13 billion.

This means that 45,000 social houses will be built in 2010-11, representing a 50 per cent increase on current levels, and 110,000 social homes will be constructed over the next three years.

All regions will receive an increase of at least 15 per cent by 2010-11 compared with this year's funding.

The East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) will receive one of the largest rises, a 45 per cent increase on current levels of funding, to £790 million.

EERA head of planning and housing Adrian Cannard welcomed the uplift but insisted that 11,000 affordable homes a year are still required in the region.

"We need to ensure that the proposed funding can deliver this level of increase," he maintained.

The South West received a 50 per cent increase to £789 million and the South East was awarded £1.3 billion.

National Housing Federation (NHF) south region head Derek Cash warned: "We need to remember that the figures include sizeable allocations for existing council homes and money to improve housing in the private sector as well."

An NHF report this week states that one in every 18 families is on a housing waiting list in the South East.

Yorkshire and the Humber will get £559 million, representing a 32 per cent rise. Yorkshire and Humber Assembly head of housing and communities Rob Warm said the funding is a substantial step toward redressing the region's imbalances.

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