Government launches £8.5m discounted homes fund

The government has launched an £8.5m fund to help volunteer groups deliver homes at discounted prices.

The fund will be delivered by Locality and offer local groups grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 to identify suitable sites for discounted homes and get planning permission.

Additional free specialist advice and guidance will also be made available for groups who take part in the three-year pilot scheme.

Discounted homes are properties built for people to buy at affordable rates, allowing them to secure mortgages in areas of the country where they are currently locked out of the market by high prices.

For example, a 3-bed home from the Cornwall Community Land Trust was recently sold at a discount for local people, for a price of £160,000, which is compared to an average property price in the county of over £230,000.

A recent report by the House of Lords select committee on the rural economy warned that a lack of affordable housing was one of the key issues faced people living in the countryside.

‘Supporting volunteers who are passionate about building more of the homes we need in their communities is something I’m fully behind, and I want to see far more people getting involved across England,’ said housing minister, Kit Malthouse.

Responding to the announcement, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesman Cllr Martin Tett, said it was a ‘positive step’.

‘It is important that local community groups receive the encouragement and support to ensure they work with councils so that the right people get the right support,’ said Cllr Tett.

‘However, in order to tackle the national housing shortage councils also need to be empowered to build more affordable, good-quality homes at scale, and fast.

‘By recently lifting the borrowing cap on councils to invest in new and existing housing, the Government showed it had heard our argument that councils must be part of the solution to the housing crisis. In order to resume their historic role as major builders of affordable homes, councils now also need to be able to keep 100 per cent of Right to Buy receipts to ensure they can replace any homes sold,’ he added.

Photo by Bromford


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