Yvette Cooper, the housing minister, will announce a £500m package today to fast-track housebuilding for first-time buyers and young families. The Times. Financial Times. The Daily Telegraph

Cooper will propose financial incentives for councils that raise development targets, identify new land for housing and produce plans to speed up delivery.

Under the scheme, councils will be required to identify at least five years’ worth of sites ready for housing and a further 10 years’ for future development.

The grants will be targeted at areas where there is a shortage of housing, such as the south-east - including the four existing growth areas of Ashford; Thames Gateway; London, Stansted, Cambridge and Peterborough - and Milton Keynes and the south Midlands.

An further 49 towns and cities that have already proposed extensive housing growth are expected to bid for the cash.