Govt sets up £36m pot for starter homes

The Government has created a £36m pot to pave the way for the building of thousands of starter homes for first-time buyers.

The fund comprises £26m for the Government to identify and purchase brownfield sites and £10m for local authorities to prepare more brownfield land for the development of starter homes.

The idea behind the fund is to speed up development of the first group of starter homes, of which the Government has promised 200,000 by 2020.

It will also be used to “support” architects, developers, councils, housing associations and small builders to “increase the quality of design” of starter homes.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis says: “Helping young people achieve their dream of homeownership is a real priority for this Government. We’ve already helped more than 100,000 households buy a home through our ground-breaking Help to Buy scheme and starter homes are another game-changer.

“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. 

“It’s further proof that this Government’s long-term economic plan is on track, supporting the aspirations of hard-working people everywhere.”

As part of the starter home scheme, new homes will be offered exclusively to first-time buyers under the age of 40 with a discount of 20 per cent on market values.

The Government’s Housing Bill, published last month, introduced a series of planning reforms to pave the way for the development of the starter homes.

These include a requirement for local authorities to “plan proactively” for the delivery of new starter homes and to maximise the release of under-used brownfield land; to bring forward proposals to ensure every “reasonably sized” housing site includes a proportion of starter homes; and to bring forward regulations that exempt developers from levies such as the Community Infrastructure levy.