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New £26m fund to boost provision of homes for first-time buyers

The government is setting up a £26m fund to help developers speed up the process of providing starter homes for first-time buyers.

The homes will be offered exclusively to buyers aged under 40 with a discount of 20% on market values.

The £26m will be used to identify and purchase sites and prepare them over the next 18 months.  This will enable more of the properties to be started between 2016 and 2018.  The majority of the sites will be under-used brownfield land, currently not allocated for housing.

A further £10m will be made available to local authorities to enable them to prepare more brownfield land for the development of starter homes.

Ministers say the new Housing Bill and proposed national planning policy changes will introduce a series of planning reforms to ensure hundreds of thousands of starter homes will be built.  These include:

  • requiring local authorities to plan proactively for the delivery of starter homes
  • maximising the release of underused brownfield land to be used for starter homes
  • enabling communities to allocate land for the properties through their neighbourhood plans
  • bringing forward proposals to ensure every reasonably sized housing site includes a proportion of starter homes
  • promoting starter homes by bringing forward regulations that would exempt developers from levies that are sought when building homes, such as the Community Infrastructure Levy
  • monitoring how effective local authorities are in delivering starter homes developments.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “We are committed to delivering 200,000 starter homes by the end of this Parliament.  This competitive fund will build homes that will clearly show the wide range of new properties that will be available for first-time buyers as they take their first step on the housing ladder.”

We shall keep clients informed of developments.

Please contact us if you would like help or advice with the legal aspects of buying or selling a home.