Three areas in the north of England are to benefit from nearly $364 million ( £200million) to strengthen communities and increase confidence in the housing market.
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said the 'massive' program could attract millions more in investment from other sources, including the private sector.
The three Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder projects in South Yorkshire, East Lancashire and the Oldham/Rochdale area take in some of the districts worst affected by problems like housing abandonment, poverty and anti-social behaviour.
The Pathfinders were first announced in February 2003 as part of the Sustainable Communities Plan. The projects form the first phase in a 10 to 15-year programme of regeneration and housing improvement.
The projects include:
$129 million (£71 million) for the Transform South Yorkshire Pathfinder to fund a major program to radically improve housing in communities across Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley;
$124 million (£68 million) for the Elevate East Lancashire Pathfinder to tackle abandonment, poor quality housing and a collapsing housing market across communities in the area, including Burnley and Blackburn; and
$97 million (£53.5 million) for the Rochdale and Oldham Pathfinder to turn around a weak housing market where there are neighborhoods that suffer severe overcrowding next to those blighted by abandoned housing.
Mr Prescott said the North West and South Yorkshire are both vital parts of the 'Northern Way' - a corridor of growth and prosperity stretching from Liverpool to Hull and north to Newcastle.
"We're getting the housing right. We're building on the potential of the northern regions. We're sending out the message - this is a great place to live."
Mr Prescott also announced a $45 million (£25 million) package to help regenerate former coalfield areas.
"Our coalfield communities have suffered tremendously since the decline of the coal industry," he said.
"And this is why I am delighted to be able to launch the Coalfield Enterprise Fund today - offering an incentive to new business and in turn helping to restore prosperity to some of our country's most deprived areas."
Notes to editors :
$1 = £0.55