U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will pledge 225 million pounds ($359 million) of government money to help kick-start private housing and spur economic growth.
“The coalition has identified major housing projects that have hit a wall -- and we are intervening directly to unblock them,” Clegg will say in a speech to the National House Building Council in London today, according to extracts released by his office.
Clegg will argue that homebuilding has been held back by cash-flow problems following the banking crash; bureaucracy and licensing issues and a lack of upfront investment for infrastructure.
“Unless we take radical action we will see more and more small communities wither, our big cities will become ever more congested as we continue to pile on top of each other; and the lack of supply will push prices and rents so high that, unless you or your parents are very rich, for so many young people living in your dream home is going to be a pipe dream,” Clegg will say.
Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, described Clegg’s pledge as “a welcome step in the right direction.” He also said the government needs to be “more ambitious,” and increase the Homes and Communities Agency’s target by 100,000 homes by 2015.
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