Councils to be given homes bonus money

Councils will be offered extra cash for every new home they allow to be built in their areas under a scheme to ease housing shortages.

Under the New Homes Bonus, the Government will match the council tax raised on each new dwelling, Housing Minister Grant Shapps will announce today.

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Town halls, which are braced for a tough squeeze in October's wider public spending review, are expected to be free to spend the money how they wish.

Mr Shapps said the Government would not tell communities where to build but the New Homes Bonus would ensure that those communities going for growth reaped benefits .

"Action is needed now to build the homes the country needs," he said.