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Minister plays trump card in housing debate

The sensational news announced by Housing Minister Grant Shapps this week has caused a buzz throughout the housing market sector and property investors with an interest in landlord insurance will be just as keen as anyone else to hear more details of the scheme.

Triumph for Shapps

In what can only be described as a triumph for the under pressure housing minister, he has secured government owned land valued at somewhere in the region of £10 billion for housing projects. The scheme will be initiated by the Public Expenditure Committee who will trawl government departments to uncover land that is no longer used but is perfectly acceptable for housing developments.

Scheme will create thousands of new homes

It is anticipated the scheme will bring 100,000 new homes onto the market over the next few years and will cover the wide spectrum of property ownership in the UK. It is hoped at least 15,000 will be dedicated to social housing and a sizeable chunk will also fall under the mantle of affordable housing. However, private investors will still get the chance to purchase residential property insurance on some of the projects, as will first time buyers who are beginning to despair of ever getting on the property ladder.

More land made available

The first inklings of the idea were actually released in the March budget with an announcement that former military sites may be sold off for property development. It seems the idea may have grown since then. In all the land release may stretch to that of two average sized cities, but the intriguing aspect of it all is just how many sites will come under the much vaunted “build now pay later” scheme.

Carrot and stick!

This Government project has certainly captured the headlines and not without reason. The carrot for builders to actually acquire land, build and sell the houses and only then pay for the land will prove hard to resist for many building companies and security guards may well need a stick to prevent builders from knocking down the doors of Government departments in the rush to be the first to get their hands on a contract.