Clive Betts warns on ‘idle’ housing funds

30 Mar 15

The outgoing chair of the communities and local government committee has expressed concern that funding for key government housing programmes is not being used.

Following receipt of a letter from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, Clive Betts, who is Labour MP for Sheffield South East, said: ‘At a time when the country urgently needs to deliver more housing, I am very concerned that public money for key house building programmes is sitting idle in the government’s coffers.

Housing development

‘The Build to Rent Fund was supposed to provide equity finance to get much-needed private rented housing off the ground. However, the government has now announced that some 80% of the fund will be “reprofiled”, meaning spending will be deferred to future years rather than starting to help people now.’

Betts said there were also serious concerns over the delivery of affordable housing with the first round of the affordable homes programme receiving fewer bids than the government expected.

‘These matters will merit serious scrutiny in the new parliament. Our successor committee may well wish to examine why housing providers are not making greater use of these important funding streams.’

  • Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith Ugwumadu joined Public Finance International and Public Finance online as a reporter after stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express. Currently, she writes about public finance, public services and economics.

    Follow her on @JudithUgwumadu_

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