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1 in 5 new homes to be a starter home under government plans

Words: Laura Edgar

New government proposals will see that one in five homes is a starter home on sites comprising 10 or more dwellings.

The proposals, out for consultation now, support the government’s ambition to build 200,000 new homes for first-time buyers under 40.

The homes will be available at a minimum 20 per cent discount below market value, “helping starter homes to be genuinely affordable for those on moderate incomes”.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said the 200,000 homes are backed by £2.3 billion of government funding to get building under way, including on brownfield sites. This money will support the first wave of starter homes, which is expected to be up to 60,000.

“The proposals mean starter homes will be built on hundreds of house building sites across the country, encouraging private and affordable housing is built side by side in mixed communities,” said Lewis.

The consultation also sets out measures that will see starter homes sold on to other first time buyers, at a discount, for five to eight years after purchase to ensure that homes “benefit genuine first time buyers and to discourage speculative buying”.

Also under consultation are restrictions on sub-letting starter homes so starter homes are not buy-to-let opportunities and allowing joint purchases where one partner is about 40 and one below to be eligible for a starter home.

Under the proposals, injured personnel and partners of those who died in service will be eligible for a starter home at any age rather than just under the age of 40.

Lewis added: “It’s absolutely right that we provide help and homes for our heroes, that is why we’re proposing that starter homes should be available to injured soldiers and partners of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

Dominick Veasey, associate director at Nexus Planning, said the Starter Homes Regulations Technical Consultation document provides a "good indication" of the government’s current thinking on starter homes delivery.

"We are however mindful that the Lords are still debating potential amendments to the Planning and Housing Bill, including the approach to starter homes. There is a little way to go before we have a firm idea of what exactly we are dealing with and the full potential and application of the starter homes initiative.”

The consultation, which runs until 18 May, can be found here.

At the beginning of March, the House of Lords considered the starter homes scheme while scrutinising the Housing and Planning Bill.

The Lords said the definition of starter homes is "narrow" while the wording in the bill “imposes a clear duty on local authorities, as planning authorities, to promote starter homes, with no mention of any other tenures”.

More about what the House of Lords said on starter homes can be found here.

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