LONDON, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Almost 50,000 new homes are to be built in 14 new garden villages announced Monday by British government officials.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has backed the scheme to help ease the country's housing crisis.
It followed a decision by the government last year for a program to create new garden towns.
The house-building program came against a background of housing shortages and rising costs for homebuyers.
Estimates published by the Houses of Parliament in 2015 put the need for additional housing in England at between 232,000 to 300,000 new units per year, a level not reached since the late 1970s, and two to three times the supply.
Under the latest scheme, the first ever smaller garden village projects will see between 1,500 and 10,000 homes built in England, each becoming distinct new places with their own community facilities.
The new villages will be created in areas stretching from Cornwall to the scenic Lake District in Cumbria which have been earmarked for expansion, with one scheme in the famous Cotswold also included.
The government announced on Monday its support for a further three new garden towns in Aylesbury, Taunton and Harlow & Gilston.
The 17 schemes announced, added to the seven garden towns previously approved, have the combined potential to provide almost 200,000 new homes across the country, said DCLG.
Gavin Barwell, minister of state for housing and planning, said: "Locally-led garden towns and villages have enormous potential to deliver the homes that communities need. New communities not only deliver homes, they also bring new jobs and facilities and a big boost to local economies."
Homes are already being built in several new garden town locations, including Bicester, Basingstoke, Didcot, Ebbsfleet, Aylesbury, Taunton and North Northants.
The new garden projects have access to government infrastructure funding programs, including the new 3 billion U.S.dollar-housing infrastructure fund announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, in his recent autumn statement.
The government also plans to allocate millions of U.S.dollars to accelerate the latest projects to help avoid delays in schemes starting. So much interest was shown in the garden village scheme, more are expected to be announced later this year, said DCLG.