Starter Homes to begin construction this year says Housing Minister

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The government has revealed the first wave of Starter Homes will begin construction in 2017, providing discounted properties across the country

The first Starter Homes are set to be built this year, it has emerged. Housing Minister Gavin Barwell made the announcement today revealing the scheme will start during 2017.

The Starter Homes scheme will apply to first time buyers between 23 and 40 years-old purchasing a new home. This group will be offered a discount of at least 20 per cent below market value in a bid to get people owning their own homes.

Some 30 local authority partnerships will form the first wave of development. They were selected on the basis of their potential for early delivery and were established under the government’s £1.2bn Starter Homes Land Fund. This supports the development of Starter Homes on sites across England.

However, earlier this year the Local Government Association (LGA) warned caution needed to be taken with the scheme. The LGA said while it could help some people buy their own home it would not assist people in areas suffering an affordability crisis. Furthermore, councils said the scheme could prove difficult for developers to achieve without compromising on quality—particularly in areas with high house prices.

Regeneration

Despite concerns, the government hopes the new developments will not only aid first time buyers but will also regenerate local areas.

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said: “This government is committed to building Starter Homes to help young first time buyers get on the housing ladder.

“This first wave of partnerships shows the strong local interest to build thousands of Starter Homes on hundreds of brownfield sites in the coming years. One in three councils has expressed an interest to work with us so far.”

Local authority partnerships will work with the Homes and Communities Agency to find suitable land sites for starter home developments. To aid with this the Starter Homes Land Fund was set up.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Councillor Martin Tett, Housing spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: “The shortage of houses in this country is a top concern for people who are finding that buying their first house is increasingly out of reach.

“Councils support measures to boost home ownership and starter homes are one of the ways this can be achieved.

“It is good that the Government is working closely with councils to build more homes, alongside the infrastructure needed to support strong communities.

“Ultimately, local areas will need discretion on the number of starter homes required in new developments.

“This will allow councils to ensure a mix of homes – to rent and buy – are built which are affordable for those people that need them and that are crucial for enabling people to save money towards a deposit.

“The Government’s Housing White Paper is a further opportunity to boost housing supply, affordability and home ownership.

“If we are to stand any chance of solving our housing crisis, it must recognise that a renaissance in housebuilding is essential to ensure more of the genuinely affordable homes that our communities desperately need are built.”

Green light for Starter Homes heralds a positive beginning to 2017

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said this was a positive step from the government. He said: “It’s great to see the Housing Minister kick off 2017 by giving the green light to the first Starter Homes.

“These homes will help some first time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder, and our small house builders are enthusiastic about delivering on that vision, but starter homes will not be a panacea.

“A wider set of measures aimed at increasing the capacity of the house building industry are needed to overturn the long-term under-supply of new homes.

“Central to this must be getting small and medium-sized (SME) builders delivering more new homes. For instance, the announcement of 14 ‘garden villages’ and more garden towns needs to be backed up by implementation plans which provide opportunities to SME builders as well as the large companies.”

The 30 Starter Home Land Fund partnerships are:

  • Blackburn with Darwen Council
  • Blackpool Council
  • Bristol City Council
  • Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • Chesterfield Borough Council
  • Chichester District Council
  • City of Lincoln
  • Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
  • Fareham Borough Council
  • Gloucester City Council
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
  • Lincolnshire County Council
  • Liverpool City Council (in association with Sefton, Knowsley, Halton, Wirral, St Helens)
  • Luton Borough Council
  • Mid Sussex District Council
  • Middlesbrough Council
  • North Somerset Council
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Pendle Borough Council
  • Plymouth City Council
  • Rotherham Metropolitan Council
  • Rushmoor Borough Council
  • Sheffield City Council
  • South Kestevan District Council
  • South Ribble Borough Council (in association with Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council)
  • South Somerset District Council
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council
  • West Somerset Council (in association with Taunton Deane Borough Council, Sedgemoor District Council)
  • Worthing Council

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