Gavin Barwell

Gavin Barwell confirms thousands of discount homes for construction

Housing minister Gavin Barwell has confirmed the development of thousands of new starter homes on brownfield sites across the country.

First-time buyers between 23 and 40 years old will be able to purchase the new homes at a discount of at least 20% below market value.

Some 30 local authority partnerships have been chosen to spearhead the projects on the basis of their potential for early delivery.

Construction will begin on a number of sites later this year.

Mr Barwell said: “This government is committed to building starter homes to help young first-time buyers get on the housing ladder.

“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.”

The partnerships were established under the government’s £1.2bn Starter Homes Land Fund, which was set up in April 2016 to prepare land for quality starter home developments by 2020.

Each local authority partnership will now collaborate with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to identify and take forward additional land opportunities for the fund.

Meanwhile, Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents, expressed concern over the speed at which the project may be delivered.

“Today’s announcement may feel like a welcome start to the new year, but as always we need to see these plans put into swift action,” Mark added.

“The dream of home ownership is too far out of reach for thousands of aspiring first-time buyers (FTBs), and the building of new homes on disused brownfield sites, as well as a 20% discount for buyers aged 23-40 will go some way to bridging this gap.

“The government has made promise after promise and pledge after pledge to help FTBs get on to the housing ladder, but until we see these houses built we won’t hold our breath.”

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