First-time buyers thrown government lifeline

First-time buyers struggling to find an affordable property in areas of England where affluent Brits are snapping up second homes will receive help in the form of government cash supplied to local authorities to boost the supply of houses.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell has pledged to introduce an annual fund of £60m to be shared between 150 councils over five years, to boost levels of affordable housing in areas where second homeownership is at its highest. The fund will be paid for by the increases in the Stamp Duty Land Tax.

The BBC reported a third of the money would be directed to the south west of England, which accounts for 21% of second homeownership in the UK.

A further £11m will be allocated to councils in the south east, £9m to the east of England, £6m to Yorkshire and Humberside and £6m to town in the North West,

The East Midlands, London, West Midlands and the North East will all receive smaller sums.

Councils will share out the money between community groups to invest building homes and developing construction skills.

Barwell described the high levels of second homeownership as a ‘frustration’ for those struggling to find an affordable home in their own town.

“This new fund will help tackle that by boosting supply and making sure community groups are at the heart of delivering new homes, so that this is a country that works for everyone,” he said.

The supply of homes featured heavily in Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement, which marked a change of direction for housing policy which previously focussed on boosting demand through schemes such as Help to Buy, under the former Prime Minister’s time in office.

In the Autumn Statement, a fund of £3.7bn was ringfenced by the Chancellor to supply 140,000 new homes to buy and rent by 2020-21 to tackle the country’s housing supply problem.

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Written by: Houseladder