The government is ‘levelling up and backing home ownership’, says Gove

The Conservative party manifesto in 2019 stated that home ownership is one of their ‘most fundamental’ values’, and the recently appointed secretary of state for levelling up, Michael Gove, is keen to reinforce that point, evidenced by the government’s latest housing pledge.

The government has this week pledged almost £58m to councils to build new homes on brownfield land, with the aim to regenerate local areas and help more people onto the property ladder.

Funding includes support for self and custom build projects to help make it more affordable for people to build their own homes.

The government says that the funding will boost local areas by transforming unloved and disused sites into vibrant communities for people to live and work, with the demolition of unsightly derelict buildings and disused car parks and garages.

The initiative is designed to help to protect countryside and green spaces while an extra 5,600 homes are built on these sites, supporting people across the country into home ownership.

The funding could also support up to 17,000 jobs across the housing and construction sector and the wider economy.

Michael Gove
Michael Gove

Gove said: “We are levelling up and backing home ownership in every corner of the country, delivering new high-quality, affordable homes and creating thriving places where people want to live, work and visit.

“Making the most of previously developed land is a government priority and it will help protect our cherished countryside and green spaces.”

The allocations include £5m for self and custom build projects. A further £20m from the Brownfield Land Release Fund has also been designated to help accelerate the self and custom build sector, with councils now able to bid for the remaining funding – giving local people the opportunity to build and design their own homes.

Ross Counsell, chartered surveyor and director at GoodMove, commented: “The government has this week pledged £58m to councils to build new homes on brownfield land, with the aim to create “much needed new homes and regeneration across the country.

“Average UK house prices reached a record £267,687 according to October’s Halifax HPI. Therefore, the funding sees the government take a step in the right direction to create an equilibrium between housing supply that fails to keep up with demand.

“Previous government schemes such as the First Time Buyers scheme optimistically aimed to help buyers get a footing on the property ladder. However, they instead further upset the supply and demand balance. This saw many of the first-time buyers and lockdown savers unable to compete with rising house deposits.

“However, when looking deeper into the fine print, around three-quarters of the DLUHC’s [Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities] money is pledged to councils in London and the South of England. This seems unfounded, considering house prices have slowed in these areas, yet have increased dramatically in northern areas such as Yorkshire and the Humber.

“Despite this, the scheme is promising in it hopes to regenerate some of the UK’s derelict areas and solve the housing supply issue across the country. Hopefully, if the government can fulfil the 5,700 new homes pledged, we could see house prices begin to stabilize in the  future.”


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  1. Robert_May

    Is the maths correct or  have I mis-understood what’s being said?

    (working on a starter home is 55sqm, the average 3 bed family home 110sqm.  Build costs £1500/sqm)


    £58m builds 700 starter homes  OR  350 family homes,  about  10% of what’s being  suggested

    5700 homes across 3500 activity centres (area supporting 3 or more agent branches) is less than 2 new homes on a typical agent’s patch.  The absence of 2 less buyers for the 350 homes typically sold in an activity centre won’t even register.




    1. AlwaysAnAgent

      You are right Robert, it’s a mangled press release which makes little sense and is  only part of what Gov has said over the last few months.
      In September, Jenrick announced their wider build policy aimed at affordable housing:
      The £12.2 billion overall investment in affordable housing was confirmed at Budget, which also includes £700 million on new homes through the 2016 to 2022 programme.
      A new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme will be delivered over 5 years from 2021 to 2026, providing up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow.
      The programme will unlock a further £38 billion in public and private investment in affordable housing. New homes will be made available from next year.

    2. Carpets And Curtains Included

      Is that £58m PER LOCAL AUTHORITY?

      If not it’s peeing in the wind. They promised 100,000 new affordable homes two years ago and not one brick has been laid yet.

      I recently sold an ex-L.A. flat in a block in Tower Hamlets. The buyer was another London Borough. The buying agent acting for the borough said he had a £2m budget to acquire property in neighbouring boroughs as it was cheaper than buying land and/or building new, and the capital appreciation was also a factor.

      So, having sold off their own stock at what, £20k – £40k a pop, they are buying them back at 10 times that.

      You couldn’t write a book….


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