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Housing white paper: Government vows to help people now

Words: Laura Edgar
Affordable homes / Shutterstock: 516642517

The government has pledged to help people to continue to support people to buy their own home through Help to Buy and starter homes.

Launched yesterday (7 February), Fixing our broken housing market states that the government intends to make clear through the National Planning Policy Framework that starter homes should be available to households that need them the most. They will be aimed at households with an income less than £80,000, and £90,000 in London.

According to the fourth chapter in the paper, ‘Helping people now’, eligible first-time buyers will be required to have a mortgage in order to buy a starter home to stop cash buyers.

The government has said that there will be a 15-year repayment period for starter homes. When a property is sold on to a new owner within this period, some or the entire discount will need to be repaid. The measure is calculated to reduce the risk of speculation.

In addition to this, the government has committed £8.6 billion for the Help to Buy equity loan scheme to 2021. The paper says the government recognises the “need to create certainty for prospective home owners and developers beyond 2021, so will work with the sector to consider the future of the scheme”.

Fixing our broken housing market proposes to open up the Affordable Homes Programme and relax restrictions on funding so that providers can build a range of homes, including affordable rent options.

Helping the most vulnerable people who need support with their housing is also listed in the chapter. The government plans to develop a sustainable and workable approach to funding supported housing.

Other measures aimed at helping people now include taking action to promote transparency and fairness for the growing number of leaseholders, and cracking down on empty homes and supporting the areas most affected by second homes. In addition, the government said it would do more to prevent homelessness by supporting households at risk before they reach crisis point as well as reducing rough sleeping.

Read more:

Housing white paper: Government to support SMEs and renters

A first look at the housing white paper

Housing white paper: Right homes, right places

Housing white paper: Building homes faster

Housing white paper: Market diversification

Government housing white paper pledges to boost planning resources

Housing white paper: Reaction 

Housing white paper: Rising land values not addressed, says RTPI 

Housing white paper: Encouraging, but more clarity is needed

The housing white paper: Surgical repair or sticking plaster?

The housing white paper can be found here (pdf).

Image credit | Shutterstock