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Affordable homes scheme to be extended by a further year

August 24th 2020

The Affordable Homes Scheme, which is designed to get more families on to the property ladder, is being extended for a further year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Linsey Hayes Residential Conveyancer provides an update.

It’s estimated that the building of 53,000 new affordable homes has stalled due to delays in the construction industry caused by lockdown.

The Government is stepping in to safeguard funding and make sure these homes are not lost altogether, extending the current Affordable Homes Programme until March 2023.

Homes to be built under the Government’s scheme originally needed shovels to be in the ground by March 2022. However, this latest announcement means that housing associations and councils have a year longer to begin building these homes while still receiving Government support, giving them the flexibility, they need to keep building.

The £12 billion Affordable Homes Programme – which will start next year – will support up to 180,000 new homes, including shared ownership and social rent. The programme will lead to a further £38 billion in public and private investment in affordable housing.

Government measures to support home building include:

  • An ambition for the Affordable Homes Programme to fund a 1,500-unit pilot of ‘First Homes’: homes that will be prioritised for local first time buyers and key workers at a 30% discount. The discount will be locked-in to the property in perpetuity, keeping them affordable for generations of families to own.
  • Allocating £360 million of funding from the £400 million Brownfield Land Fund to support around 24,000 homes across the country.
  • Helping smaller developers to access finance for new housing developments by boosting the Home Building Fund with an additional £450 million of investment. This is expected to support delivery of around 7,200 new homes.
  • Reforming the planning system to kick start the construction industry, speed up rebuilding and make it easier to build better homes where people want to live. This includes making it easier to repurpose more commercial premises without requiring a planning application, builders no longer needing a planning application to demolish and rebuild unused buildings if they are rebuilt as homes, and property owners being able to build additional space above their properties through a fast track approval process.
  • A new, ambitious cross-Government strategy, to be published ahead of the Spending Review, looking at how public sector land can be managed and released so it can be put to better use. This would include measures for home building and improving the environment.

If you would like advice about the legal aspects of buying or selling a property please contact Linsey on 01697 72378 or click here to send her an email.

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