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Council pensions should be used to fund housebuilding

Think tank says 300,000 new homes need to be built every year to curb housing crisis

October 26, 2012

A new report suggests using council pensions to fund the building of 300,000 homes every year to alleviate the chronic shortage. The Future Housing Commission’s research shows that by tapping into councils’ pension funds house building could increase three-fold without any extra government money.

The investment would be managed by an independent body in charge of coordinating the projects and ensuring solid returns. Financed by the largest local pension funds the investment could amount to £10 billion. The councils’ would pool 15 per cent of their funds, investing it in shared ownership and rental properties. The fund would be owned by the contributing pensions.

Sir John Banham, chair of the Future Homes Commission, said: “After a year-long national inquiry, the Future Homes Commission has concluded a housing revolution is entirely possible and will lead economic growth. 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.”

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