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£4.2 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund remains unspent

£4.2 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund remains unspent

Despite the chronic shortage of housing in the UK, around two-thirds of the £4.2 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) remains unspent more than six years after its launch, according to reports.


Launched in 2017, the HIF was intended to boost housebuilding by providing local authorities with grant funding for essential infrastructure like transport and utility connections.


Administered by Homes England, the state housing body, the HIF invited councils to bid for grants to support infrastructure projects. However, a recent Freedom of Information request revealed that only £1.3 billion of the fund has been spent so far, representing roughly 31% of the total amount. Most of this expenditure occurred in 2021 and 2022.


Moreover, despite government funding agreements, rampant inflation has caused some projects to stall or be abandoned altogether. The government confirmed that less than 10% of the promised homes have commenced construction, leading to a reduction in the HIF's delivery target from 340,000 to 270,000 homes.


In the summer, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) assigned a red rating to the HIF, indicating that its programme was deemed "unachievable." This assessment underscores the challenges faced by the UK in addressing its chronic housing shortage. Despite a government target to build 300,000 homes annually, the country fell short last year, adding only 232,820 new dwellings.


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