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ARCH annual report


The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.


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Commons briefing paper: Start Homes for young first-time buyers 16/10/2015

The House of Commons has produced a research briefing on the government's Starter Homes scheme. The scheme was launched in February 2015 and is aimed exclusively at first-time buyers under 40 years of age.


Read the Starter Homes for young first-time buyers briefing paper.


The briefing covers the scheme's background as well as the consultation process it undertook in December 2014 along with the government's response. Finally, it provides a summary of progress on the scheme to date prior to publication of the Housing and Planning Bill 2015.

In December 2014,PM  David Cameron announced a new scheme aimed at providing affordable Starter Homes, exclusively to first-time buyers under 40 as part of the government's strategy to increase home ownership across the country. The scheme was launched in February 2015 with purchase and preparation of the first sites planned to begin in the same year.


Starter Homes are exclusively available to young first-time buyers, who benefit from a 20% reduction on market value; with properties set to cost no more than £250,000 outside of London and £450,000 within London. The 20% reduction is to be retained for five years following the initial sale, after which the property will be sellable at full market rate.


Starter Homes are to be built on brownfield ex-commercial or industrial land (although other brownfield sites will also be considered); with developers not required to make section 106 or Community Infrastructure Levy contributions on sites provisioned for the scheme. No Green Belt land is to be built on.


In order to increase the viability of the scheme, a small proportion of market value homes are also to be built on Starter Home sites, with the hope that this will also promote mixed communities in keeping with the guidance found in the National Planning Policy Framework.


Following an announcement from George Osbourne that the scheme was to be rolled out to rural exception sites (where homes retain their discounts in perpetuity against the Starter Homes' five years); concerns were raised that the policy might affect rural people's ability to afford to buy in their local areas and could effectively result in commuters outbidding local people for housing.


Read the Starter Homes for young first-time buyers briefing paper.


NB: Since this report was published the Prime Minister made an announcement at the Conservative Party Conference that the government plan to allow developers the right to build Starter Homes for owner-occupation instead of affordable housing for rent in fulfilling S106 planning requirements on private sites and the government have published the Housing and Planning Bill 2015.

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