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Peer2Peer Finance News | July 22, 2017

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P2P lenders back SME focus in housing white paper

P2P lenders back SME focus in housing white paper
Marc Shoffman

PEER-TO-PEER property lenders have welcomed the government’s support for small housebuilders in its housing white paper.

The white paper, released on Tuesday, outlines the government’s housing strategy and says local authorities will be held responsible for the number of new homes built in their area.

The white paper said the government’s home building fund, launched in October 2016, would provide £1bn of short-term loan finance targeted at small building firms, custom-builders and innovators to deliver up to 25,000 homes this parliament and a further £2bn of long-term loan funding for infrastructure and large sites, unlocking up to 200,000 homes.

Stuart Law, chief executive of Assetz Capital, said holding local authorities accountable should make planning departments more flexible.

“This should hopefully see the end of developments being blocked for minor reasons,” he told Peer-to-Peer Finance News.

“Up to 60 per cent of our funding is to developers. We welcome pressure on local authorities.

“We are in a good position to support small building firms and can help reverse the declining numbers of these businesses.”

Read more: Relendex calls for housing white paper to unwrap SIPPS for residential property

Ian Thomas, co-founder of LendInvest, said small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must be at the forefront of addressing the housing shortage.

“The housing white paper makes it clear that the onus is on all levels of government and industry to deliver more homes of every type,” he said.

“The success of small scale housebuilders is of critical importance to the increase in housing supply. In the execution of these measures, government must put SMEs at the fore, providing them with access to finance, land and skills to put homes on British streets.

“We want to see these small builders and property investors at the front of the queue to purchase public land and we look forward to opportunities to work with government to get public finance into the hands of these developers.”

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