Government gets started on first-time buyers initiative

house-buildingCommunities secretary Greg Clark has launched a £26m fund for house-builders to demonstrate a range of ‘high quality homes’ that will be made available to first time buyers under the starter homes initiative.

The minister for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) claims these homes will pave the way for the first wave of starter homes and are intended to show new homeowners the different types of properties available from the scheme.

The fund will support architects, developers, councils, housing associations and small builders to build properties that will increase quality of design as the Government sets out to deliver on its pledge to build 200,000 starter homes by 2020.

It will be used to identify and purchase brownfield sites to provide land for starter homes, with money from the sales of these sites to go back to the Government. The sites will be prepared in 2015 to 2016, enabling more of the properties to be started between 2016 and 2018.

In addition, up to £10 million has also been made available for local authorities to prepare more brownfield land for development of starter homes. It will help them carry out preparation, clearance and infrastructure work to make them viable for starter homes.

Greg Clark said: “We are committed to delivering 200,000 starter homes by the end of this Parliament, providing a real boost to aspiring young first-time buyers.

 “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 are also helping bring back into use more brownfield land for development, keeping the country building and delivering the homes our communities need.”

Brandon Lewis, minister of state for housing and planning at DCLG, said: “Helping young people achieve their dream of home ownership is a real priority for this government. This fund will help kick-start that change and show young people across the country the quality they can expect when they buy a starter home.”

House-building formed an important part of the Conservative Party’s election for May’s General Election, with the Starter Homes scheme leading the raft of policies intended to boost house-building. The Government’s new Housing Bill and proposed national planning policy changes will introduce a series of planning reforms intended to ensure hundreds of thousands of starter homes will be built.

Both of the new funds are one-offs designed to accelerate provision of starter homes.

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