Councils across England received a cash boost as Liberal Democrat Communities Minister Andrew Stunell announced funding each authority would receive from the New Homes Bonus.

Andrew Stunell with Cllr Daisy Benson and local Lib Dems on a visit to The Avenue Extra Care Housing Development on Basingstoke Road earlier this year.

Andrew Stunell with Cllr Daisy Benson and local Lib Dems on a visit to The Avenue Extra Care Housing Development on Basingstoke Road earlier this year.

The money means councils are rewarded for building new homes and bringing empty homes back into use.

In Reading the Coalition Government has awarded the Council £1.2 million pounds for delivering 392 new homes and bringing 26 empty homes back in to use.

Commenting, Cllr Daisy Benson said:

“ With over 8,000 people currently stuck on the housing waiting list in Reading there is an urgent need for more affordable housing particularly for families.”

“At the same time, hundreds of homes in Reading are standing empty for six months or more.

“After 13 years of Labour’s failure, Liberal Democrats in government are determined to tackle these problems.”

“Thanks to funding from Government we are already seeing new homes being built and empty homes being brought back in to use in our area– including on Dee Park and at the former Avenue School – where the first new Council homes are being built in Reading for over twenty years.”

“This is something the Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for and we are now delivering in Government.”

Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said:

“These are very pleasing figures, showing that the New Homes Bonus is acting as a spur to get councils building new homes and bringing more empty homes back into use.

“It’s a win-win situation for local communities – £430m of extra funding for frontline services and 159,000 extra homes for local people.

“Labour’s top-down approach to building homes just didn’t work. It was unrealistic and ineffective, and didn’t take into account local needs or wishes.

“Instead the New Homes Bonus is introducing a culture change – making it easier to persuade local people to go for development, and rewarding communities that go for growth.”

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