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

 

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Government consults on Starter Homes Regulations 01/04/2016

The government has issued a consultation paper on the details of Starter Homes in for the regulations to be made under powers contained in the Housing and Planning Bill which defines Starter Homes as affordable housing and places a general duty on local planning authorities to promote the supply of starter homes.

 

Under proposals set out in their consultation paper 'Starter Homes Regulations', new housebuilding sites of ten homes or more will have to contain at least one home, out of five, as a "Starter Home".

 

Starter Homes will be valued at up to £250,000 (£450,000 in London) and will be available at a minimum 20% discount below market value, helping first-time buyers under 40 to access home ownership.

 

The proposals are designed to support the government's target of 200,000 new homes for first time buyers as part of their pledge to build one million new homes.

 

The government has set aside a support package of £2.3 billion for a first wave of up to 60,000 starter homes, including £1.2 billion for brownfield land housebuilding.

 

Other measures proposed in the consultation paper include:

 

  • starter homes can only be resold to other first time buyers, at a discount, for five to eight years after purchase; this is to ensure the homes benefit genuine first-time buyers and to discourage speculative buy-in
  • restrictions on sub-letting so starter homes are not buy-to-let opportunities
  • allowing joint purchasers where one partner is above 40 and one below to be eligible for a starter home

 

Also, under the proposals, injured military personnel and partners of those who lost their lives in service would be eligible for a starter home at any age.

 

The consultation runs until18 May 2016and seeks views on the details for the regulations to be made under powers contained in the Housing and Planning Bill.

 

ARCH is concerned that the subsidy of £2.3million being put into the first wave of Starter Homes will only benefit the initial buyers of those homes as the discount will not be held "in perpetuity" for future first-time buyers. The requirement on housing developers to provide one in five homes as Starter Homes will restrict councils' abilities to secure additional funding from developers through Section 106 Planning Agreements, beyond the 20% starter homes requirement, for social or affordable rented housing and other forms of affordable housing (as currently defined) - including shared ownership.

 

If your council is proposing to submit a response to the government's consultation paper, please copy in ARCH Policy Adviser, Matthew Warburton Mathew.Warburton@arch-housing.org.uk.

 

Details of the £1.2 billion Starter Homes Land Fund were reported previously. Local authorities are invited to submit initial expressions of interest in the Starter Homes Land Fund by 13 May 2016. 

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