National housing agency Homes England launched at Alconbury

Sajid Javid during a previous visit to Alconbury. Photo: Ian Carter.

Sajid Javid during a previous visit to Alconbury. Photo: Ian Carter. - Credit: Archant

Alconbury Weald was chosen as the backdrop for the launch of the new national housing agency Homes England by Housing Secretary Sajid Javid.

Mr Javid said the redevelopment of the former military airfield - which will bring 5,000 new homes - was a “prime example” of how thousands of new homes could be delivered.

The newly created Homes England, which replaces the Homes and Communities Agency, will set out to “fix” the country’s housing market by helping to deliver an average of 300,000 homes a year by the mid 2020s.

Mr Javid launched the agency and toured the 1,420 acre Alconbury site which receives government funding to build more homes, on Thursday.

He said: “This Government is determined to build the homes our country needs and help more people get on the housing ladder. Homes England will be at the heart of leading this effort.

“The development at Alconbury is a prime example of how the agency has worked to deliver thousands of new homes, as well as improve roads and create space for local businesses.”

He said: “The new agency will be key in replicating this approach right across the country and will help us build a Britain fit for the future.”

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Alconbury Weald developer Urban and Civic is building 5,000 new homes and creating 8,000 jobs on the site of the former Alconbury airfield and Homes England is lending it £45.07 million through the Home Building Fund to pay for enabling works and infrastructure.

The money will be repaid over 11 years as land is sold on to house builders.

The Housing Agency was unveiled in the chancellor’s autumn budget and will develop a new commercial approach to acquiring and developing land in areas of high demand and strategic importance.

More than 300 local authorities have published a brownfield register showing 26,000 hectares of developable land on 16,000 sites.

Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England, said: “As Homes England, we will use our land, finance and expertise to expand the delivery of affordable new homes and connect ambitious partners to remove barriers to house building.”

Sir Ed Lister, chairman of Homes England, added: “We will take the lead in delivering better quality homes and great places that set the bar high for others.

“We will also stimulate demand for modern methods of construction and ultimately disrupt the housing market.”