Brownfield Housing Fund

The Brownfield Housing Fund is designed to create more homes by bringing more brownfield land into development.

In July 2020, West Yorkshire Combined Authority secured £67 million funding from the government’s Brownfield Housing Fund. The programme will help to build 4500 to 6000 new homes across West Yorkshire over the next four years, delivering much-needed housing and boosting the region’s economy.  

Programme Overview

Lead: West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Area(s): Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield

Funding: £67 million from Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

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Working together

We are looking for suitable brownfield sites within the West Yorkshire region that would benefit from our support to accelerate the delivery of housing and unlock stalled sites.

The fund is aimed at supporting the development of housing schemes. In particular we are interested in schemes that can demonstrate a net zero carbon output or introduce measures to reduce carbon, and/or demonstrate innovation in design and/or construction.

We will prioritise schemes in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage and support inclusive growth and the delivery of affordable homes. We will also consider mixed-use schemes where there will be a significant number of homes built.

For schemes that are successful, tailored finance options will be available where housing developments can demonstrate a need for public sector intervention.

Support available can include:

  • Loans and mezzanine finance
  • Grants (depending on viability issues)
  • Equity stake/investment
  • Partnership arrangements (such as Joint Venture arrangements)
  • Deferred land payment
  • Land lease arrangements
  • Put option
  • No loan exit fee

We will provide support to eligible schemes on a ‘loans-first’ principle. Security requirements, overage and terms will be dependent on a project specific basis.

Eligibility criteria

Prospective projects must meet the following requirements:

  • Be on brownfield land within the West Yorkshire region and with housing allocation
  • Projects must evidence market failure and demonstrate they are unable to proceed without public sector financial support (i.e. sites unlikely to be developed via normal capital markets)
  • Have planning permission in place, or in the process of being submitted
  • Plan to complete remediation by no later than August 2024
  • Plan to begin construction of homes by no later than September 2024
  • Minimum of 100 homes to be built per site 
  • Support provided through the fund up to approx £11k per unit (dependant on viability issues)
  • Be at an advanced conception stage or in an early implementation phase

In addition to the must-have criteria listed above, we would also like to hear from developers whose projects align with the Combined Authority’s Strategic Economic Framework (SEF). The framework sets out our ambitious vision for the ongoing transformation of West Yorkshire and establishes our investment and decision-making priorities for how we will achieve this. It can be viewed in full here.

For example, we would particularly welcome projects that meet any of the following SEF aims and objectives:

Tackling the climate emergency

  • Innovative solution to address a zero carbon targets through enhanced design standards which go beyond those required by local planning policies or building regulations. These include projects that use sustainable methods of construction, increased utilisation of renewable technologies, or enhance flood defences
  • Use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and off-site construction practices, reducing the carbon emissions from development.

Enable inclusive growth

Boosting productivity

  • Utilising small and medium sized enterprises and/or local supply chains
  • Increase jobs, e.g. through construction or jobs that are created through a mixed-use scheme

Delivering 21st century transport

  • Investing in new housing developments in urban centres and close to transport hubs

Securing money and powers

  • Projects that demonstrate a financial return through the funding arrangement (for example through loans of equity stake investment for the Combined Authority)

Please note that projects which are deemed deliverable within the timeframe of the programme will be required to develop full business cases that will be appraised via the Combined Authority’s assurance process. Dedicated project officers from the Combined Authority will work with applicants to develop their business cases for this process.

Schemes that are successful for funding will also be assessed via the Treasury Green Book, including a Cost Benefit analysis. Projects will be required to meet a Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR) of 1 and illustrate good value for money in terms of public sector intervention.

Key dates

Applications open: Monday 15 February 2021

Applications close: Wednesday 31 March 2021

(Applications can be submitted at any point during this period)

Assessment period: Wednesday 31 March – 30 April 2021

The Combined Authority, along with our Council partners, will evaluate all submissions. As such following evaluation, we would require the Council where the scheme is located to be supportive of the development proposed.

Please note: Project officers may make contact with applicants through the assessment period for further information to progress the submission.

Notification period: Monday 3 – Friday 14 May 2021

Applicants will be notified within this period if they have been unsuccessful or are proceeding to the next stage.

Next Steps