01 September, 2015
As part of the Conservatives pledge to deliver more starter homes by 2020 the government, earlier this month, announced that a £26 million fund will be made available to housing associations, architects, councils and small builders to assist with the purchasing and developing of brownfield sites.
The properties which are to be built on these sites will be made available to first time buyers under the age of 40 who will benefit from at least a 20% discount on the market value of these properties, under the governments Help to Buy scheme. The hope is to assist first time buyers with their first steps on to the property ladder whilst at the same time addressing the current housing crisis. The government aim to provide 200,000 new starter homes over the next 3 years with the sale proceeds returning to the government.
It has been revealed that there will also be £10 million available to local authorities to assist with the preparation of these unused or vacant sites, ready for development, which could include clearing the site, removing contamination and developing infrastructure links.
The announcement comes further to the new Housing Bill which aims to introduce a number of planning reforms to address the housing demand including monitoring local authorities on how effective they are in delivering starter homes and requiring local authorities to plan proactively for the delivery of such starter homes.
However, brownfield sites are notorious for being difficult to develop and require a lot of work. Although a welcomed step towards the use of these sites, more may be needed from the government in order to hit their 200,000 new homes target within the next 5 years.
For further information please contact any member of the Housing & Regeneration (Property) Team on 01772 220022.