The government has said that thousands of new homes for first-time buyers will be built before the end of the year, although critics claim the timescale is too ambitious.
The Starter Homes Land Fund – which was first announced in 2014 – will provide £1.2bn of funding to 30 local authorities in England. This money will be used for new housing developments on brownfield sites, solely for first-time buyers between the ages of 23 and 40 years.
These buyers will be able to get a discount on the market value of their new house by a minimum of 20 per cent, although this is only the case on properties below £450,000 in London, or £250,000 outside of the capital.
“This government is committed to building starter homes to help young first-time buyers get on the housing ladder,” said Gavin Barwell, the housing minister.
“This first wave of partnerships shows the strong local interest to build thousands of starter homes on hundreds of brownfield sites in the coming years. One in three councils has expressed an interest to work with us so far.”
However, Labour’s shadow housing secretary John Healey criticised the government over the feasibility of its aims.
He said: “Ministers launched them in 2014 but will only start to build the first in 2017, promised they’d be affordable for young people when they’ll cost up to £450,000, and pledged to build 200,000 by 2020 but no-one now believes that’s possible.”
The 30 local authorities were selected based on their capability to build new properties quickly, which are expected to be on sale next year.