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Government fund to help councils build first time buyer homes

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The government has launched a new £26 million fund aimed at encouraging the development of new homes for first-time buyers

The new fund announced earlier yesterday by communities secretary Gleg Clark, will be used to buy brownfield sites on which to build starter homes.

The initiative is part of the government’s plan to build 200,000 starter homes for first-time buyers by the start of the next parliament.

The money will be used to identify and purchase sites that could be developed, which the government said would be mainly brownfield land and not currently allocated for housing.

Councils, developers, and housing associations will then compete to develop the sites with the homes built sold at a 20 per cent discount as part of the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

In addition, a further £10 million is being made available to councils to help them develop underused or vacant brownfield land. It will help them carry out preparation, clearance and infrastructure work to make the sites viable for starter homes.

Communities secretary Greg Clark, said: “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.”

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation said the fund recognised the extra costs of building on brownfield land.

“Brownfield sites often prove to be extremely lengthy and complex to develop, and if the government wants to see significant amount of housing delivered on them, then developers and housebuilders are going to need some help.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Housing - crisis what crisis? A pocket money sum which may well be a re-announcement. The real need is council house building allied with 'affordable' housing by housing associations and this sum does not address issues of real housing need. The government continue to live in the fantasy world of universal home ownership!

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