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Three housing statements to see in the New Year

Week in Westminster

Published: 6 January 2017 | Author: Michelle Vosper

While we wait for the publication of the government’s housing white paper later this month, 2017 kicked off with three housing announcements…

Government has given its backing for the first ever English garden villages. Expanding on the existing garden towns programme, the garden villages are smaller projects of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes. The 14 new garden villages will have access to a £6 million fund over the next two financial years. In addition, government announced its support and a further £1.4 million for the creation 3 new garden towns in Aylesbury, Taunton and Harlow and Gilston.

2017 will see the first Starter Homes being built on brownfield sites across England. Housing minister Gavin Barwell announced the first wave of 30 local authorities to be granted funding from the Starter Homes Land Fund. The £1.2 billion fund was first announced by the coalition government in 2014. Starter Homes will be built exclusively for first-time buyers between 23 and 40 years old and sold at a discount of 20% below market value.

And the government’s reiterated its commitment to affordable housing across different tenures. The affordable homes programme has been allocated £7 billion (£1.4 billion of which was announced at the autumn statement) and will now support the delivery of shared ownership, rent to buy and affordable rent homes. Our press release welcomed the government’s commitment to widen the tenure choices for people who cannot afford to by a home outright.

Finally, just in case you missed it in the run up to Christmas, the date of the spring Budget statement has been set for 8 March.