£26m smarter homes fund launched

A £26m fund for house builders in the has been launched to pave the way for the first wave of new starter homes aimed at increasing the quality of new properties.

Communities secretary Greg Clark said high quality homes will be available for first-time buyers and the fund will make sure that a range of different types of properties can be accessed.

The fund will support architects, developers, councils, housing associations and small builders to build properties that will increase the quality of design as the government delivers on its pledge to build 200,000 starter homes by 2020.

It will be used to acquire brownfield sites to provide land for starter homes. Money from the sales of these sites will go back to the government, securing good value for the taxpayer.

In a further move to support aspiring home owners the government has also made available up to £10m for local authorities to prepare more brownfield land for development of starter homes.

Clark said: “We are committed to delivering 200,000 starter homes by the end of this Parliament, providing a real boost to aspiring young first-time buyers.

“This competitive fund will build homes that will clearly show the wide range of new properties that will be available for first-time buyers as they take their first step on the housing ladder.”

He added: “We are also helping bring back into use more brownfield land for development, keeping the country building and delivering the homes our communities need.”

Helping young people achieve their aspiration of owning a home is a priority for the government, according to Housing Minister Brandon Lewis who added that already more than 100,000 households have been helped to buy a home through the flagship Help to Buy scheme and starter homes should be another game changer.

“This fund will help kick start that change and show young people across the country the quality they can expect when they buy a starter home. It’s further proof that this government’s long term economic plan is on track,” he said.

 

The government’s new Housing Bill and proposed national planning policy changes will introduce a series of planning reforms that will ensure hundreds of thousands of starter homes will be built.

These include requiring local authorities to plan proactively for the delivery of starter homes, maximising the release of underused brownfield land to be used for starter homes and enabling communities to allocate land for the properties through their neighbourhood plans.

It also will result in proposals to ensure every reasonably sized housing site includes a proportion of starter homes being brought forward and monitoring will be carried out to see how effective local authorities are in delivering starter homes developments.

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