12 February 2020
The ‘First Homes’ consultation is an opportunity for the Government to reform some of its housing approaches.
Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick has announced plans for first time buyers, which will cut the price of new homes by a third. The ‘First Homes’ scheme will lower deposit and mortgage requirements for local first-time buyers in England and the discount will remain for subsequent buyers.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) commented: “It is welcome news to hear Mr Jenrick say that the ‘First Homes’ scheme will be for larger developments because currently, smaller sites deliver proportionately more affordable housing than larger ones. It’s also fantastic that the Government listened to our recommendations to support key workers.”
The Government has said that the discount will be provided through the planning system and it will not incur any additional building costs. Key workers, such as nurses, police and military personnel, will get priority.
However, more clarification on the scheme is needed.
Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning at the House Builders Association (HBA), said: “The ‘First Homes’ consultation is an opportunity for the Government to reform some of its housing approaches. Many English regions already deliver affordable homes, therefore the scheme may be more suited to unaffordable regions. The Government may seek to reform planning contributions because CIL, which was meant to replace section 106, is still not implemented nationwide. And it may like to define and exempt medium sized sites too, as they have now been included in the National Planning Policy Framework.”