By politics.co.uk staff
The government has announced further funding to keep the property market afloat, spending £83 million on helping first-time buyers and providing work in the construction industry.
The money has safeguarded 1,700 jobs, secured 99 apprenticeships in the housing industry and given the go-ahead for 5,700 homes.
Today's cash will be spread across 141 projects, with developers committing to get workers back on site within a year. Almost a quarter have said their workers will be back on site by the end of March.
"We're putting the weight of government investment into building much-needed affordable homes, keeping people in work and giving young people a chance of apprenticeships," housing minister John Healey said.
"In this recession, the government has not stepped back and left the homes and jobs we need to the market. We're using public funding to keep Britain building through the downturn."
Most of the money should be repaid within five years, the government says.
Today's funding represents the latest instalment of a significant wave of investment.
Over £3.6 billion has been spent on housebuilding since June funding nearly 68,000 new homes, in what is the largest council homebuilding programme for two decades.