200,000 homes by 2020: Can the government deliver?

Written by Katie Cullen
Written by Katie Cullen
19th January 2017 (Last updated on Monday 19th November 2018)

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell confirmed thousands of Starter Homes for first-time buyers to be built. This is good news for first time buyers between 23 and 40 years old who will be able to get Starter Homes at a discount of at least 20% below market value, by 2020. After the discount, the maximum price is £250,000 outside London and £450,000 in the capital.

The Housing Minister announced the scheme on 3 January 2017, stating, ‘'This government is committed to building Starter Homes to help young first time buyers get on the housing ladder''.

The first wave of 30 local authority partnerships were selected based on their potential early delivery. These partnerships are established under the government's £1.2 billion Starter Homes Land Fund which supports the development of Starter Homes on sites across England.

The developments support the growth and regeneration of local areas and some town centre sites.

The initiative aims to help prospective first time buyers get on the property ladder.

The £1.2 billion Starter Homes Land Fund was established in April 2016 and set up to prepare suitable land for quality starter home developments which can be built on by developers or through accelerated construction by 2020.

However, some believe the initiative might be too ambitious. John Healey, the shadow housing minister, believes it is unrealistic, stating, ‘'They've promised by 2020 to build 200,000 of them, which no one believes is possible''.

According to the BBC, the Starter Homes programme is an unlikely scenario when money has been put aside for 60,000 starter homes. The current plan is for 22% of new developments to be starter homes, which could mean one million suitable homes being built by 2020 – this means there would need to be a significant acceleration of house building.

The funding of the programme is supposed to pay for local authorities making brownfield sites suitable for residential development.

The government said under the new system at least 22% of all new builds would be starter homes. That means almost one million new homes would need to be built by 2020 to hit the government's 200,000 target – a huge acceleration of current housebuilding.

In 2015, a total of 170,730 new homes were built which would not be enough over three years.

The commitment to 200,000 Starter Homes is great news for first time buyers, as it will make getting on the property ladder much easier for prospective homebuyers.

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