Clegg hints at TIF-style help for large housing schemes

Thu 22nd November 2012, 9:22 am

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg today hinted at greater funding freedoms for local areas to help build large-scale housing developments containing up to 25,000 homes.

Nick Clegg: deputy prime minister pledged extra housing cash

In a speech to the National House Building Council, Clegg said that the government would provide £225 million to help unblock large-scale schemes of between 4,000 and 9,500 units, which could help deliver 50,000 homes in total.

He also said that innovative forms of finance could be used to help release even more money for housing development. “The coalition has created a new power for local areas to borrow against future business rate revenues – tax increment financing, or ‘TIF’," said Clegg.

“Councils tell me that is a massive help in raising investment for local infrastructure. And, personally, I’m very keen that we look at these kinds of financial freedoms in the context of new garden cities and suburbs too.”

He said that the government would shortly outline exactly how these funding mechanisms might work, and added that he wanted to see a move to longer timeframes in the way the government budgets for capital projects.

Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Grainia Long said: “We need to address our housing crisis now, and the government is right to focus on existing stalled schemes which can be brought on stream in the shorter term, where the £225 million of new government funding to help de-risk projects is a welcome contribution.”

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