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Britain commits 44 bln stg to boost housebuilding

LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Britain on Wednesday committed 44 billion pounds to provide funding, loans and guarantees over the next five years in a bid to deliver 300,000 net additional homes per year on average by the mid-2020s.

Finance minister Philip Hammond used the annual budget to say that the funding would be used to boost the supply of skills, resources and land needed to increase the number of new homes built each year, from the current level of 217,000.

"Solving this challenge will require money, planning reform and intervention," he told parliament. "So today we set out an ambitious plan to tackle the housing challenge." (Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Costas Pitas)