Today George Osborne MP set out in his Autumn Statement and Spending Review which included a doubling of the Government’s previous targets for affordable housing delivery, setting a new target to deliver 400,000 new affordable homes by 2020.
Consistent with recent announcements made by the Planning and Housing Minister, Mr Osborne also made a point of emphasising that ‘affordable’ means not just affordable to rent, but also affordable to buy. He set out in his speech that the Government is to make available £2 billion per year to deliver the 400,000 affordable homes by the end of the decade, almost half of which will be Starter Homes sold at a discount of 20% off market value to first time buyers under 40 years of age.
The Chancellor also set out a new initiative; ‘Help to Buy: Shared Ownership’ which Mr Osborne announced would “remove many of the restrictions on shared ownership – who can buy them, who can build them and who they can be sold on to”.
Further announcements were made around extensions to the Right to Buy to housing association tenants, with a pilot scheme launched from midnight tonight for tenants of 5 housing associations to start the process of buying their own home, and further reforms of the planning system to speed up the delivery of new homes, including the “re-designation of unused commercial land for Starter Homes”.
Many of today’s announcements will be brought in to effect through the Housing and Planning Bill. Should you require any further information or advice in respect of how today’s announcements might effect your project then please contact us now.