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Newsview :Tories promise 200,000 starter homes
« on: March 03, 2015, 07:50:04 AM »



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Tories promise 200,000 starter homes

David Cameron visits building siteDavid Cameron will outline the plans in a speech later


Some 200,000 homes will be made available to first-time buyers in England by 2020 if the Tories win the election, David Cameron is to promise.


The coalition government has already announced plans for 100,000 cut-price homes for people aged under 40.


The PM says the Tories will double that if they gain power, to give more people the security of owning their own home.


Labour has pledged to build 200,000 new homes a year by 2020. The Lib Dems have set out plans to build 300,000. 


First-time buyers under the age of 40 in England can now register to buy new homes at a discount of up to 20% off the normal price.

  'Young people'

The offer is part of the government's new "starter homes" scheme to encourage home ownership and construction on previously used "brownfield" land.


The 20% discount is achieved by waiving local authority fees for homebuilders of at least £45,000 per dwelling on brownfield sites.


The Conservatives are now proposing to change existing planning rules to allow councils to include discounted starter homes in the obligations expected of developers, alongside social housing and properties sold at full market value.


It believes the change will give councils and builders more flexibility about the make-up of new developments and make more brownfield sites - including land owned by the public sector - viable for development.


The Conservatives say homes worth £250,000 outside London - or £450,000 in London - would be eligible for the scheme and that first-time buyers would have to repay the 20% price advantage if they sold within five years.


  Sold signThe starter homes scheme applies to newly built houses only


"There is a particular kind of security that comes with having a home - and that's what I want to talk about today," Mr Cameron will say in a speech.


"Too many people have been denied that security. The young people in their 20s and 30s still living with their parents, desperately saving for their own place.


"The couple who want a child but can't afford to upsize - even though they both have full-on, full-time jobs. It shouldn't be this way.


"Our goal is a Britain where everyone who works hard can have a home of their own."

  'Not shoe boxes'

He will say the scheme will ensure the new homes are not "snapped up by buy-to-let landlords" and that some of Britain's biggest builders including Barratt and Taylor Wimpey have already signed up for it.


"We've shown what we expect starter homes to look like - not rabbit hutches or shoe boxes, but decent, well-built, homes with gardens - places to start and raise a family.


"So we are going to take this good idea and accelerate it."


  New house being builtPoliticians want more brownfield land to be made available for housing


Labour said the government had presided over the lowest levels of house building since the 1920s and home ownership was at its lowest level for three decades.


Ed Miliband has pledged to reach a target of 200,000 homes being built each year by 2020 to ease demand and provide up to 230,000 jobs in construction.


"Yesterday the Conservative Party chairman went on TV in an effort to convince people they had a plan for housing, but instead, he couldn't answer basic questions about where the money will come from or how their latest pie-in-the-sky scheme will work," he will say later.


"In contrast, Labour has a comprehensive housing plan, not unfunded promises."


The Lib Dems want to create a new ministerial taskforce after the election to spearhead housebuilding plans and have called on councils to identify land to be made available over a 15-year period as part of their development plans.


UKIP says brownfield developments should be liable for reduced VAT and no stamp duty should be paid on new brownfield homes when they are first sold.


The Green Party set out plans last week to build 500,000 new social homes for rent but its leader Natalie Bennett was criticised after struggling to explain how much it would cost and how it would be paid for.

  New builds

The number of houses being built in the UK fell during the final three months of 2014 - the first such decline for almost two years.


The 0.2% drop in new home construction compared with a 6.1% increase in the previous quarter.


However, the government says 137,000 homes were started in 2014 - a rise of 10% on the previous year.


The government introduced a scheme called Help to Buy in England in April 2013.


It was intended to help those trying to get on the housing ladder who could afford mortgage repayments but were struggling to raise a deposit.


Last March the scheme in England was extended until 2020 rather than December 2016, as had previously been planned.

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