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One Public Estate: Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF2) Round 3 – FAQs

FAQs about the Brownfield Land Release Fund 2 (BLRF2) Round 3.

Recently added FAQs

My Local Authority has issued a S114 Notice, are we still eligible for BLRF2 Funding? 

Councils that have issued a Section 114 Notice can apply for funding, but we would encourage applicants to liaise with their OPE Regional Team in advance, as additional information to support the application may be required. 

Can you confirm that the use of Right to Buy receipts do not count as other government funding in this application?

We can confirm that Right to Buy receipts do not need to be included as other government funding in the Technical Annex.  

We will have to make a financial contribution for Highways to make traffic junction improvements around the area of the site. Is this an eligible cost? 

No, the payment of financial contributions is not an eligible cost for BLRF2 funding. The works themselves could be eligible but that would be subject to the nature of the works. Please contact your regional team for further information. 

To intervene in changing the market where the private sector aren't e.g. using different housing products, can we use BLRF2 funding if it makes a viable site unviable? 

No. If the market could deliver a site, it would not be possible for the council to demonstrate a market failure on the scheme.  The fund is unable to cross-subsidise specialist products. 

Preparing your application

What should I do if I need help with my application?

Please contact your OPE Partnership Lead or your Regional Programme Manager in the first instance. You will also find details of your local OPE Partnership on these webpages.

Who is eligible to apply for BLRF2?

BLRF2 is open to all councils in England, specifically: Borough, County, District, London Borough, Metropolitan Borough, Unitary Councils. Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) are also eligible, as are their constituent councils. Please note this relates to just the GLA and does not comprise the whole GLA Group.

A council is required to be part of an OPE partnership to apply as applications are submitted through this route. If you are not already part of an existing OPE partnership, please contact the relevant Regional Programme Managers for your area.

Please note your application needs to meet the eligibility and gateway criteria described in the Fund Details, in the first instance. If you are not able to meet the criteria, then your application will not be assessed any further.

Is there a limit to the number of applications an individual council can submit?

No. We encourage councils to carefully consider the justification for the level of funding and number of applications seeking funding. Councils should also consider their ability to deliver, should all applications be successful. Please liaise with your OPE partnership, or Regional Programme Manager for guidance.

Are there any examples of the type of projects that have been funded in previous rounds?

To give Partnerships a sense of the diversity of projects coming forward under BLRF2 Round 2, examples include:

  • Hull – £980,000 to release land at a former school site to deliver 99 new homes for affordable rent as part of the city’s regeneration drive. 
  • Newcastle upon Tyne – £1.82 million to boost wider regeneration by releasing a complex site to deliver 146 new build-to-rent homes for communities in Benwell and Scotswood. 
  • Bognor Regis – £628,000 will unlock an £8 million scheme to rejuvenate a listed town centre building, delivering 35 new homes and improved retail space to support local regeneration. 
  • Sunderland – £1.81m to transform and remediate a former riverside industrial site to create a new urban quarter at Farringdon Row in Sunderland delivering 140 new high quality low carbon, build to rent homes. 
  • Rochdale – £271,000 funding has unlocked delivery of 14 purpose-built homeless and supported accommodation units on a former car park and garage site. 
  • Somerset – £213,800 to demolish existing rundown garages and deliver 11 low-carbon one, two and three bedroom affordable homes subject to securing planning permission. 

You can find more examples of previous BLRF/LRF projects in the OPE case study library, and your OPE partnership will also be a good source of information.

Are there any links to resources, apart from the application documents, that could help me with my application?

Yes. Below are links to some websites and resource hubs that may provide useful thinking when developing your application.

Will you hold any workshops for prospective applicants?


We held a workshop for applicants on Thursday 11 January 2024, and a recording of the workshop is available to view online.

We held a second workshop focused on completing the Technical Annex, on Thursday 25 January 2024. A recording of the workshop is available to watch.

Fund requirements

How does this fund differ from previous rounds of BLRF/LRF?

BLRF2 aims to retain the impact and flexibility of previous schemes but places a greater emphasis on places that are considered to be in need of levelling up. 

For BLRF2 Round 3, the Value for Money assessment has been updated to reflect the most up to date Government guidance on Value For Money, and we would encourage councils to engage with their Regional Programme Managers to discuss these changes, and to review the updated Value for Money Guidance.

There are two main changes for BLRF2 Round 3:

i) Brownfield Amenity Impacts - Brownfield amenity impacts relate to the removal of disamenity to the local area caused by undeveloped brownfield land and the associated impacts. The brownfield land amenity benefits of developing on brownfield land are captured automatically in the Technical Annex. The range of available NMIs has been reduced from earlier BLRF2 rounds, as the TA now directly includes a number of regeneration benefits in the main assessment calculator.

ii) Wider Area Impacts - Wider area placemaking impacts relate to developing on brownfield land for urban regeneration schemes (if applicable). These can only be applied if suitable supporting evidence of how a scheme meets the criteria for inclusion is provided, and will be closely linked to a scheme's strategic case. The greater value from either the wider area placemaking impacts or the brownfield amenity impacts will be included if wider area placemaking impacts are demonstrated. This is because some of the same impacts will be captured in both measures. This will be done by the Technical Annex automatically. 

Can projects only be funded on brownfield land?

Yes – we are only accepting applications for funding for projects taking place on brownfield land.

What qualifies as brownfield land?

Land that meets the National Planning Policy Framework definition of previously developed (brownfield) land:

‘Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. This excludes: 

  • land that is or was last occupied by an agricultural or forestry buildings; 
  • land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill, where provision for restoration has been made through development management procedures; 
  • land in built-up areas such as residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments; 
  • and land that was previously developed but where remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface structure have blended into the landscape’.

What types of housing can I deliver using the fund?

The fund allows councils to determine the type, tenure and delivery mechanism for the new homes, drawing on their understanding of local needs. There are no restrictions. 

Land released with capacity for housing should be quantified in the number of homes being delivered on the site. The following categories of homes can apply:

  • a market home
  • an affordable or starter home
  • a self or custom-built home
  • build to rent
  • student accommodation (to note, 4 student rooms equates to 1 home)
  • key worker accommodation (including health and military service personnel and family accommodation provided this adds to the net housing supply)
  • retirement/care apartments (which count as dwellings/homes)
  • a care home (to note, 4 care home rooms is equivalent to 1 home).

How do we evidence a general or specialised housing need? 

Councils are required to regularly update their Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA). This will contain information on an area’s level of general housing need calculated by the use of the “Standard method”. This provides an unconstrained assessment of the number of homes needed in an area. In the event that an authority only has a specialised need, such as affordable housing, the HELAA should also contain the necessary evidence to demonstrate this.  In most cases an extract of the relevant section(s) of the HELAA would be acceptable. 

How is affordable housing defined?

Affordable housing is defined as being “Housing for sale or rent, for those whose needs are not met by the market (including housing that provides a subsidised route to home ownership and/or is for essential local workers)” and which complies with one or more of the definitions set by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which are outlined on the NPPF website.

To note, in our Basic Details Form, we define “social rent” as rents that are 30-60% of market rents, and “affordable rent” as rents that are 80% of market rent. To clarify whilst we welcome applications for all types of affordable housing, only Social and Affordable rent have a quantifiable benefit in terms of the Value for Money (VfM) Assessment. 

What is the definition of ‘Land Release’?

Please refer to the Draft Grant Funding Agreement under How to Apply, for the formal definitions of land release.

Land can be defined as “released” when:

a) An unconditional contract, development agreement or building licence with a private sector partner is signed, or a freehold or leasehold transfer takes place

b) Land has transferred to a development vehicle owned, or partly owned, by the local authority; or

c) The point at which development begins on site if (a) and (b) have not happened. 

d) In the case of self and custom-build, if (a), (b) or (c) do not apply, land is released when contracts are exchanged on the first plot.

One Public Estate defines the development start on site as actions such as excavation for strip or trench foundations or for pad footings, digging out and preparation of ground for raft foundations, vibrofication, piling, boring for piling or pile driving or drainage works specific to the scheme.

Is there a limit on the amount of funding that can be applied for per housing unit? 

BLRF2 is aimed at small and medium-sized sites that can release land swiftly with funding support. There is no fixed lower or upper limit for each application in terms of homes or site size. 

As a guide however, the average size of a successful BLRF2 Round Two project was 63 homes, while the median was 25 homes. We would expect the majority of applications to be under £2m. Should a council feel there is a strong strategic case for a larger application, exemplary evidence of the deliverability, risk management and project governance approaches to assure land release by 31 March 2028 will be required.

Is there a minimum number of housing units that an application can include?

No. However all projects seeking funding would need to show clear justification in their application for the number of homes being released.

What is the minimum benefit cost ratio (BCR) a project must achieve for BLRF2?

Applications must achieve at least an “Acceptable” value for money category. This is when a scheme is consistent with a benefit cost ratio (BCR) of 1.0 or above, after both the benefit cost ratio (BCR) and non-monetised impacts (NMIs) are taken into account. There is no minimum BCR score required for schemes to use NMIs. 

We would continue to stress that under BLRF2, this metric is a gateway criterion, where achieving this minimum value for money score allows a scheme to pass to the next stage of assessment. Value for money categories will not be used in assessing project prioritisation, beyond the fact that achieving an ‘Acceptable’ value for money category will provide the minimum strategic case score for the project. 

Please note that the Value for Money assessment has been revised since Round 2, and we would encourage applicants to review the Value for Money Guidance.

What are non-monetised impacts? 

NMIs are impacts which are difficult to monetise with accuracy, such as energy efficiency and transport impacts, because they have a large potential range. 

You can find examples of NMIs and guidance on how to determine whether or not these are required and applicable to your application through our Value for Money Guidance.

All NMIs must be clearly linked to your proposed project.

Please note, the range of available NMIs has been reduced from earlier BLRF2 rounds, as the TA now directly includes a number of regeneration benefits in the main assessment calculator. 

Is there guidance on calculating the non-monetised impacts?

Yes. Please refer to the Value for Money Guidance which is available in the How to Apply section of the website. We will also hold a second workshop to provide additional support on completing the Technical Annex. Details of this workshop will be circulated to partnerships shortly, and posted on these FAQs.

Should my application include non-monetised impacts (NMIs), if the benefit cost ratio (BCR) is already over 1.0?

Value for money is a gateway criterion and will not be competitively scored. We would encourage NMIs to be included where schemes have a Benefit Cost Ratio close to 1.0.  We reserve the right to amend an applicants’ existing use value adjustment and additionality assessment, which could in turn reduce the BCR below the qualifying gateway. 

What is meant by market failure?

Market failure occurs where the market alone cannot achieve an economically efficient outcome. In the case of BLRF2, this will occur where there is a need to provide remediation works or infrastructure that no developers would be able or willing to fund to make the land suitable for housing. Those works would have been deemed too costly by the (public sector) land owner creating a funding gap which leaves the site stalled and with no prospect of being released for housing. 

For most BLRF2 schemes the most common form of market failure will be this viability gap, as evidenced through a Development Appraisal illustrating that the site could not be delivered without subsidy, due to the abnormal costs and market conditions associated with the site. 

Any assessment can include a level of profitability for potential developers based on standard market expectations in relation to project risk. We would not normally expect this to exceed 20% profit on costs. 

Where councils are intending to retain ownership of a site and offer the properties for rent, an understanding of the time period when that investment will be returned, including any interest payments would also help to demonstrate market failure. 

Please set out clearly the source of data used in any appraisal and how/by whom any professional judgments were taken. Please refer to the additionality assessment within the Technical Annex for further details on how the market failure will be considered. 

The application should include evidence to support applicants’ responses to the additionality assessment within the Technical Annex where relevant, such as: 

  • demonstration of clear site-specific market failures, including, where relevant, evidence that the works would not have been undertaken by the private sector
  • demonstration that the viability/funding gap could not be solved by reasonable changes to the specification of the project that would be acceptable to the council
  • details of existing landowners that might complicate land assembly
  • details of how delivery will be accelerated by this funding.

Where any viability/funding gap could be met by reasonable changes to the specification of the scheme the appraisal should set out how those changes have been considered and why they have been disregarded. Such reasoning would include compliance with a range of council policies and commitments. 

Please contact your OPE Regional Programme Manager for further advice on market failure.

How do I calculate the number of homes to be released?

The proposed number of new homes to be delivered minus any homes replaced. For example, if you are demolishing 100 homes and building 120 homes, the number of homes enabled by land released will be 20.

Would a portfolio of sites be eligible for funding?

No. Only single site applications are eligible. Sites that are divided by roads can be considered a single site provided these do not create a significant barrier between parcels of land and sites would be otherwise contiguous. You may submit as many separate applications for sites as you wish. The single site can be part of a larger development/regeneration programme, however BLRF2 funding can only be used to support the council-owned brownfield land portion within it.

Is a scheme still eligible if it requires additional funding to release the land?

In appraising costs we will only take account of any pre-development costs to central government that have been secured. This will reflect both spending through BLRF2, and any other funding that is required from central government. This figure should be input into the Technical Annex. This will not reflect any money spent or recovered by the council. All costs and benefits will be discounted at the standard rate of 3.5% p.a.

Further guidance on other government funding is provided within the updated Fund Details for Round 3. 

Can I apply for BLRF2 if I have applied for other government support for the same project but that funding has not been confirmed? 

BLRF2 funding can be provided alongside other government funding to unlock brownfield projects: in such cases the assessment of value for money will take all government funding into account. Where councils are seeking other government funding for the same project, this should be made clear within the application.

We advise you to review the Value for Money Guidance and the Fund Details, and to discuss with your OPE Regional Programme Manager at an early stage in preparing your application. 

Can BLRF2 be used on sites where work has already started?

No. We would however consider applications from projects where site investigations have commenced and uncovered unanticipated issues such as contamination meaning projects have become unviable and stalled. BLRF2 is for sites that show clear evidence of a market failure and are unable to progress without intervention. We would not be able to meet any costs that have already been committed. Funding is not available for works already undertaken or contracted before the GFA is signed by all parties.  

An explanation of market failure can be found within the FAQ question ‘What is meant by market failure?’

What constitutes a sunk cost and when should that be included in the TA as other government funding?

What matters are costs and benefits affected by funding decisions still to be made. In terms of BLRF2 projects, we consider a sunk cost to be one that was incurred prior to the 2024/25 financial year, and which has no prospect of being recovered. 

Where that cost was supported by historic government funding we would also consider that a sunk cost. Thus because the cost/funding is regarded as disconnected from the current application, it would not need to be considered as part of the “other government funding” column in the TA. It is also important that all housing outputs that would be delivered anyway as a result of sunk costs already incurred if a project was not to receive BLRF2 funding are also excluded from the TA.

Can I apply for additional funding to an existing B/LRF project?

No, existing B/LRF projects are not eligible for additional funding. 

Do Active Travel England need to be consulted on my application?

From 1 June 2023, Active Travel England is officially a statutory consultee on all planning applications for developments equal to or exceeding 150 housing units, 7,500 m2 of floorspace or an area of 5 hectares. Applicants should seek advice from Active Travel England where relevant to their scheme.

Can a council still apply for a site where there are Nutrient Neutrality issues that are impacting on its ability to grant planning permission? 

We would still welcome applications from councils where nutrient neutrality is an issue. We recognise that national policy is developing in this area, and there are a number of local solutions that have been developed that have been considered to mitigate the negative nutrient neutrality impacts of development.  We would expect applicants to have identified potential mitigation solutions that would allow development of the site within the Land Release timeframe set out in the GFA. Your Regional Programme Manager can provide more specific advice as circumstances vary between river catchments. 

Does BLRF2 only apply to land, or could it be used on a site where buildings already exist and may need demolition or repurposing?

Both are eligible as long as the land is brownfield. Please refer to the definition of brownfield land above. 

Do mixed-use sites qualify for BLRF2?

Yes. The Technical Annex will only take into account land released for housing, however inclusion of mixed-uses may support other areas of your application, such as the strategic case.

Can community-led housing groups take on the development role?

Yes, if the land is in council ownership at the point of application, and there are upfront capital costs required to release the land: land would be considered released when contracts are exchanged on the first plot.

What costs are eligible for funding?

The BLRF2 funding will provide upfront capital investment in order to create a viable scheme and can cover abnormal costs that may include:

  • site levelling, groundworks, demolition, remediation
  • provision of small-scale infrastructure
  • highways works or other access challenges 
  • addressing environmental constraints
  • external works, substructure and piling
  • asbestos removal
  • sewer diversions.

Physical works for site activation (such as hoardings, welfare facilities, skips etc) can be included but not any associated revenue costs. 

This is not an exhaustive list. However if proposed expenditure does not fall into these categories please contact your OPE Partnership Lead or Regional Programme Manager for further advice.  

What costs are not eligible for funding?

The following are not eligible for funding through BLRF2:

  • revenue costs, such as officer time, work management fees, professional fees, planning fees and planning consultancy, design fees, highways inspection and management and project management including revenue costs associated with site activation
  • early stage feasibility studies
  • community engagement
  • off-site infrastructure unless directly related and proportionate to the scheme
  • design/planning costs
  • procurement costs
  • costs related to the construction of the housing
  • most site investigations unless directly associated with facilitating another eligible cost.

This is not an exhaustive list, your OPE Partnership Lead or Regional Programme Manager  can help with any specific queries for costs not listed above.

How do I complete the Basic Details Form?

Each project has its own tab where all project information should be inputted. The Partnership Declaration tab must then be completed by the accountable body for the OPE partnership on behalf of all the projects being applied for. You must ensure that the project name within the BDF is an exact match for the project name on the Technical Annex. One BDF must be submitted per OPE partnership with all projects included. 

As part of the assessment, assessors will review and may revise the BDF where they deem costs to be ineligible. The revised Basic Details Form will be returned to applicants alongside the Grant Funding Agreement for successful projects. 

What do you mean by self and custom build (S&CB)?

The glossary to the NPPF defines self-build and custom-build housing as: Housing built by an individual, a group of individuals, or persons working with or for them, to be occupied by that individual. Such housing can be either market or affordable housing. A legal definition, for the purpose of applying the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended), is contained in section 1(A1) and (A2) of that Act.

Will there be separate ring-fenced funding for self and custom build (S&CB) projects as in previous rounds of BLRF?

No. Funding will not be ring-fenced, it will instead be mainstreamed as part of the overall BLRF2 funding available.BLRF2 will continue to support councils to bring forward serviced self and custom build plots on brownfield land where this can be delivered in line with the fund criteria and will be reflected in the assessment of the scheme. 

How is the ‘place based metric’ calculated for a council?

Both deprivation and productivity data has been used to provide a place based metric score, which will be automatically applied to the application. Applicants are not required to provide evidence to support this element of the application. 

Further details of how this is calculated are provided below:

  • Deprivation: the proportion of lower super output areas in a council that are in the 10% most deprived lower super output areas nationally as per the Index of Multiple Deprivation (2019) – a widely used way of measuring deprivation. This enables the identification of areas with particularly concentrated deprivation that will benefit from holistic regeneration to address complex problems and provide a new economic purpose
  • Productivity: Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked (2019), a widely used labour productivity measure. This enables the identification of areas that are performing less well economically than other parts of the country, and which will benefit from regeneration that creates spaces fit for the modern economy. 

The place based metrics can be found under How to Apply, and this includes guidance on which place score to apply where a council has been through local government reform since the list was first published.

Can a BLRF2 application be for one part of a larger project which involves multiple land owners?

Yes. Applications can be part of wider projects or schemes, however the application should only relate to works which release land for housing on council-owned land. 

What does a good strategic case look like?

Please refer to our Fund Details, which contains guidance on how to complete your strategic case.

We suggest you structure your response as outlined in the application form, however this is a guide rather than a requirement. 

Does planning permission need to be in place before applying for BLRF2?

No. Planning permission (if appropriate for the site) is not a requirement at the point of application. However, if planning permission is a dependency for land release by 31 March 2028, confidence in achieving this permission will be assessed as part of the gateway criteria. 

The below factors could help evidence confidence in project deliverability:

  • allocated housing in a council’s up to date local plan
  • outline planning consent granted and/or full application in the process of being submitted/considered
  • set within a development zone
  • exception site where there is an evidence of a level of confidence that will receive planning (if appropriate).

What are reasonable changes to a project and what justification would there be for them to be disregarded when identifying a viability gap? 

Reasonable changes to the specification of the scheme would involve changing the specification of any final scheme to reduce any additional costs associated with those requirements, for example reducing the level of affordable housing from 100% to policy compliant.  The justification for disregarding such a change could be based on site specific circumstances and/or a wider council policies or objective for an area for example a resolution that the council would seek to maximise affordable housing in all council-owned sites or similar policy objectives.  

Can my application include a contingency within my costs?

Generic contingency for a project is not eligible - please refer to FAQ concerning cost inflation. 

How should the application address possible cost inflation?

Your cost estimate should use a base date for tender prices based on the projected start date for the works to take place. Sources such as BCIS recognise projected increases in both material and labour costs in future years. Applicants should refer to the Treasury Green Book (as amended 2022).

Applicants should recognise the potential for cost inflation between the date of application and the delivery of works and should base cost estimates on the projected delivery period. The BLRF programme will not cover cost overruns.

Submitting your application

Which forms need to be submitted?

For each site, applicants must submit one Application Form, and one Technical Annex. 

Each OPE Partnership must also submit one Basic Details Form covering all projects submitted by the partnership. 

There is a checklist in the application form to ensure you have completed all the required documents. The documents will need to be submitted to the relevant OPE partnership for your area, as they will collate projects into one submission.

How do I submit my application?

Your application, along with any other councils within your OPE partnership area, will be collated by the OPE Partnership and submitted by the accountable body for the partnership. Individual councils will be required to complete the Application Form and Technical Annex for their specific project and submit to their OPE partnership. The Lead Authority for the Partnership will submit each application alongside a completed Basic Details Form covering all projects. 

For BLRF2 Round 3, our preferred method for receiving applications is sharepoint. 

Obtaining your sharepoint link:

  • Ahead of the closing date, Partnership Managers will be provided with, and can request at any point, a sharepoint link to access a secure sharepoint channel for their partnership, where all application documents can be uploaded. 
  • We will only send the link to named email addresses requested by the Partnership Manager. 
  • We recommend OPE Partnership Programme Managers consider setting up a shared email address ahead of time for their partnership, so that applications can still be submitted in the event of illness. Partnership Managers can however contact us at any point up to the closing date to obtain a link for a replacement officer in this case. 

Uploading your folders:

  • Partnerships must separate applications into one folder per council, and then subfolders for each project application within each council’s folder. 
  • Partnerships should complete the proforma within their regional folder to confirm the documents that have been uploaded. 
  • No amendments to submissions can be made after the closing date, and so access to the channel will be removed following the closing date. If partnerships realise after the closing date that documentation has been missed by error, contact [email protected].

Notifying OPE of your submission:

  • Once uploaded, Partnerships must then email OPE on [email protected] to confirm the submission and the applications that have been uploaded. 

Alternative ways to submit your application:

  • We strongly encourage applicants to submit applications via sharepoint. However, if this is not possible, we will accept applications via email. 

Please note that the maximum size the OPE mailbox can receive in one email is 25 MB. Outbound size restrictions within your organisation may be lower. We can accept zip files and if required multiple emails for an OPE partnership application - for clarity, please make sure the subject line includes ‘email 1 of X’. 

Is there a preferred naming convention for files and attachments submitted as part of a BLRF2 funding application?

The preferred file naming conventions are: 

  • Basic Details Form: Partnership name_BDF
  • Application form: Partnership name_AF_Council_name of scheme
  • Technical Annex: Partnership name_TA_Council_name of scheme
  • Appendices: Partnership name_Local_Authority_name of scheme_appendix1

How should the council or OPE Partnership inform the relevant MP?

Before the application is submitted, councils or partnerships must notify the MP where the proposed site is located by email or letter. If the site crosses two constituency boundaries please notify both MPs. Please note the requirement is that MPs are informed, rather than seeking endorsement or approval.

What is the deadline for applications?

Applications for the third round of BLRF2 funding must be received from the OPE partnership lead council by 23.59 on Wednesday 14 February 2024. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

You should also speak directly with your relevant OPE partnership as the deadline for submitting your application to your OPE partnership lead will be earlier, to allow the accountable body for the partnership to collate and submit applications.

When will the funding awards be announced?

Funding announcements for BLRF2 are expected to be made in Summer 2024. BLRF2 grants (capital) are paid under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, s.126 (Grant paid with the consent of His Majesty’s Treasury) and are awarded directly to the council in which the project sits. 

Funding awards to councils will be published on the OPE website and at

Please note if successful, we will usually publish the council name and funding amount. 

Delivery and reporting requirements

Is there a deadline for delivery of housing following the release of land?

The project timings must ensure contracts for BLRF2 funded activity are able to be signed by 31 March 2025 and evidence returned to OPE by 14 April 2025. 

The project must be able to release land by 31 March 2028. 

There is no deadline for delivery of housing following the release of land, but ideally house-building should be complete within 2 years of the land being released.

What happens if my project faces delays?

Applications should aim to offer confidence in delivery. If successful, any subsequent changes to project plans or outputs during the delivery period must be agreed in writing by programme partners, OPE Regional Programme Team and DLUHC. 

If, after the award of funding and before the release of land, the scheme is no longer able to meet the fund’s criteria, DLUHC will consider whether it can continue to support the project. If DLUHC determines that it can no longer support the project, the Department will request the return of funding.

What are the reporting requirements if my application is successful?

All councils will be required to report on progress of their project. Councils will be required to report against six milestones three times a year. They are:

1. Procurement of infrastructure works; Contractor Commencement Date. This refers to the Funded Works, i.e the infrastructure and remediation works the Grant supports, in accordance with the Bid

2. Commencement of BLRF funded works date. This refers to the first of the Funded Works, if multiple.

3. Completion of BLRF funded works date (last of the Funded Works, if multiple)

4. Date land is to be released

Land can be defined as “released” when:

  • an unconditional contract, development agreement or building licence with a private sector partner is signed, or a freehold or leasehold transfer takes place

  • land has transferred to a development vehicle owned, or partly owned, by the local authority; or

  • the point at which development begins on site if (a) and (b) have not happened. 

  • in the case of self and custom-build, if (a), (b) or (c) do not apply, land is released when contracts are exchanged on the first plot.

5. Expected start on site (new homes)

A “start” is an excavation for strip or trench foundations or for pad footings; digging out and preparation of ground for raft foundations; vibro-flotation, piling, boring for piles or pile driving; or draining work specific to the scheme. 

6. Expected development end date (final housing unit completion).