Housing Infrastructure Fund
We recognise the need for new housing within the county to deliver new homes and infrastructure for its existing and future residents. It is essential that housing and growth is well planned and sensitively located with infrastructure funded and built in advance of the building of new homes.
Kent is expected to deliver in excess of 175,000 new homes over the next 15 years, the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) proves an opportunity to forward fund the necessary infrastructure to accelerate investment and diversify the housebuilding market in Kent, creating new housing communities.
On 4 July 2017, the Department for Communities and Local Government launched the £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to unlock up to 100,000 new homes across the country. As part of the wider £23 billion National Productivity Investment Fund, the HIF is aimed at providing grant funding to provide new homes in areas with the greatest need for housing, and fund vital physical infrastructure.
The 2017 Autumn Budget announced a further £2.7 billion to the HIF, taking the total investment to £5 billion.
Authorities were invited to bid for up to £250 million of funding although some could seek higher levels of funding. This element of the fund is intended to deliver a small number of high impact infrastructure schemes, which will give the market confidence to provide further investment and homes in the area.
We have worked collaboratively with district councils, borough councils and relevant partners to develop interest for 2 ambitious bids for forward funding.
We prioritised an almost £300 million bid of physical infrastructure necessary to de-risk and accelerate growth at Otterpool Park, Shepway – a garden settlement already endorsed by the Government.
Our second bid sought forward funding for key transport improvements in the Swale Borough, which are necessary to support long term housing delivery on sites allocated in the recently adopted Local Plan.
Key transport improvement bid in Swale Borough
Our bid for key transport improvements in the Swale Borough was successful in the first stage of it’s application for Forward Funding from the Housing Infrastructure Fund. We will now work with government and partners to develop a business case, due to be submitted in late summer 2018. A final decision on funding awards is expected by Autumn 2018 and if successful, funds will need to be spent by March 2023