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25 June 2014

Infrastructure Plan continues to deliver as Jane Hutt announces 2,000 new homes to be built

The Welsh Government’s innovative Housing Finance Grant is set to triple, delivering an extra 2,000 social and affordable housing units, thanks to a £250m extension of the scheme, Finance Minister Jane Hutt has announced.

The Minister outlined the plans as she told Assembly Members how the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan had steered almost £3 billion of new capital investment into the Welsh economy and public services, since its launch in 2012. The Minister also announced an extra £18m for new health services in Wales.

The Housing Finance Grant was first launched last September. With the assistance of the Welsh Government, 19 Welsh Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) have worked together to secure a new source of finance for the sector. The extra investment in the Housing Finance Grant will create over 5,000 jobs and the new scheme should become operational by 2017-18.

Jane Hutt said:

"Today I am announcing plans to boost our programme of innovative finance investment with an additional £250m investment in social and affordable housing. This new funding will triple the size of the successful Housing Finance Grant delivering an additional 2,000 social and affordable housing units and creating over 5,000 jobs in the process.

"This builds on the £1billion programme of investment I announced last month to deliver sections 5 and 6 of the A465 and a new cancer specialist care facility at Velindre Hospital through a non-dividend model.

"Today’s announcement means that when viewed as a whole our innovative funding investments announced since the launch of the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan will create around 30,000 jobs during the short term construction phases.

"As well as new ways of financing our infrastructure projects we are still using traditional capital to improve public services. Today I am also announcing £18m for new health schemes to help ensure that health services are sustainable, efficient and affordable in the long term, as well as delivering an improved patient experience.

"This is a clear demonstration of a Government that is delivering for the people of Wales."

Housing and Regeneration Minister Carl Sargeant added:

"This additional funding demonstrates the success of the scheme to date and will provide a further boost to the supply of affordable homes across the whole of Wales.

"With communities, housing associations and local authorities all feeling the pressures of the UK Government’s welfare reform policies, the extension of the scheme and the new homes it will help build are very welcome indeed.

"I’ve seen first hand on recent visits the difference that this innovative Grant is already making and look forward to seeing it continue to deliver homes and jobs for our communities."

Nick Bennett, Chief Executive of CHC added:

"I’m delighted that the government has acknowledged the key part social housing investment plays in generating jobs and growth for the welsh economy and will literally be building on existing successful innovation."

David Morgan, Policy Manager at RICS Wales added:

"We are greatly heartened by the continuing push by the Welsh Government on Infrastructure given the scale of its importance to the Welsh Economy. The jobs figures are a clear indicator of how these projects can generate a stimulus for the overall economy, as well as the vital skills training it brings for so many. In addition schemes like the Local Government Borrowing Initiative represent precisely the sort of fresh thinking that is needed in the current budgetary climate."