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Local Authority pensions could fund new homes

Capital from Local Authority pension schemes could pave the way for hundreds of thousands of new homes to be built, according to proposals outlined in a study by the Future Homes Commission.

The study argues that 15% of capital from Local Authority pension schemes could be directed towards setting up an independently managed £10 billion Local Housing Development Fund.

This would then facilitate the building of 300,000 mixed-tenure properties on brownfield sites, focusing on areas with current housing shortages, a three-fold increase in the current quota of 100,000 homes being built each year.

The new system would end the "dysfunctional way" that the UK is currently building homes, according to the Future Homes Commission.

Chair of the Future Homes Commission, Sir John Banham, said:

“We strongly believe that local government can become the leader of new development once again, by using their assets and powers to create the type of mature, sustainable, mixed tenure communities that Britain needs and that institutional and international investors want to invest in.”.

The recommendations were praised as an “excellent starting point for delivering a radically improved housing market” by Royal Institute of British Architects President Angela Brady, and described as innovative and interesting Housing Minister Mark Prisk.

Last month proposals outlined by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg revealed that first-time buyers could get a helping hand on to the property ladder with the help of their parent’s or grandparent’s pension.

The new arrangements, which could be introduced as early as 2015, will see the lump sum element of pensions used as collateral for raising home loans.

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