The £26m Starter Homes Initiative is welcome news for the construction industry and will help to provide much needed funding to meet the target of 200,000 new starter homes by 2020.

What will this new initiative involve and who will benefit from the funding?

We’ve already sifted through the detail to provide you with the key facts you need to know.

What is the Starter Homes Initiative?

It consists of £26m in funding for the development of new homes specifically for first time buyers. The funding will be made available to house builders to purchase the land they need to build new starter homes from brownfield land that wouldn’t otherwise be available.

The aim of the funding is to acquire land over the next year ready to begin building in 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018.

In addition to this there will also be £10m offered to local authorities to ensure that this brownfield land is prepared and cleared ready for these developments to take place.

Once the new homes are sold onto first time buyers the funds will be repaid to the government.

What is the definition of a starter home?

A starter home is specifically aimed at first time buyers aged up to 40 years old. These homes will be offered to buyers at a 20% reduced rate from the proposed market value.

Who qualifies for the funding?

  • Architects
  • Developers
  • Councils
  • Housing Associations
  • Small builders

Further steps to support the initiative

On top of the changes in the housing bill, further planning reforms will be introduced to provide further support to the building of new starter homes.

The proposed changes are as follows:

  • Forward thinking planning from local authorities to deliver starter homes.
  • Ensure maximum brownfield land is made available for starter homes.
  • Give communities the right to earmark land through neighbourhood schemes.
  • Fast tracking proposals stating that all larger housing sites contain a percentage of starter homes.
  • Fast tracking regulations preventing developers from being charged planning fees for example the Community Infrastructure Levy.
  • Ensure local authorities provide good quality developments for these starter homes.

This is good news for building and is another step forward in tackling the ever growing housing crisis.

By Anna Cross

Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.

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