First 30 starter homes schemes revealed

Warren Lewis
3rd January 2017

The government has announced the first wave of 30 local authority partnerships to build new starter homes backed by the £1.2 billion Starter Homes Land Fund.

The homes will be built on brownfield sites across the country, housing minister Gavin Barwell confirmed today.

The new homes will be built exclusively for first time buyers aged between 23 and 40 years old at a discount of at least 20% below market value. Construction will begin on the first schemes later this year with the first homes delivered in 2018.

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.”

The Starter Homes Land Fund was set up in April 2016 to support the acquisition, remediation and de-risking of suitable land for starter home developments.

Each local authority partnership will work with the Homes and Communities Agency to identify and take forward further land opportunities for the fund.

In addition, the HCA is now seeking expressions of interest from local authorities who are interested in using their land to deliver homes through the recently announced £1.7 billion accelerated construction fund recently announced. This aims to see up to 15,000 homes started on surplus public sector land this parliament.

In all the HCA received 79 expressions of interest from 120 local authorities across the country outside London, many involving joint submissions.

The new 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 Kesteven 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) and Worthing Council.

Mark Hayward, Managing Director, NAEA, comments: “Today’s announcement may feel like a welcome start to the New Year but as always we need to see these plans put into swift action. The dream of home ownership is too far out of reach for thousands of aspiring first time buyers (FTBs), and the building of new homes on disused brownfield sites, as well as a 20% discount for buyers aged 23-40 will go some way to bridging this gap.

News that the Government will deliver 14 new ‘garden’ towns and villages outside of existing settlements will also relieve some of the pressure on supply and demand, which should in turn act as a catalyst to help FTBs fulfil their dreams of homeownership. However, we must not throw caution to the wind. The Government has made promise after promise and pledge after pledge to help FTBs get on to the housing ladder, but until we see these houses built we won’t hold our breath.”

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