Comments : New housing will be essential to the recovery of the economy
The Housing Minister Grant Shapps has a project set up and backed by the Government to help with the downturn in the economy. It has been named ‘Get Britain Building’ and it is a £420 million project which was launched only a few months ago to build up to 100,000 new affordable homes and is expected to create up to 30,000 new jobs in the process.
Mr Shapps has released a range of measures to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder and provide support for millions who are still waiting on social housing. Some of the measures include:
- Building 80,000 new homes on already newly identified land.
- Potentially building a total of 100,000 new homes with help of organisations like the BBC, Network Rail and Royal Mail to help find the extra land required.
- There will be details released on the NewBuy Guarantee scheme which has been set up to help those who aspire to buy newly-built housing with a much smaller deposit than usually required.
- Developing a £19 billion deal allowing councils to keep the rents they collect from their social housing and using it to improve their current properties.
The Minister has a clear commitment to ‘go the extra mile’ for the people who desire to take the first step onto the property ladder. Mr Shapps plans to launch the NewBuy Guarantee scheme this month which brings builders, lenders and the Government together to offer mortgages on newly built properties, with a fraction of the deposit. While buyers usually have to pay a £40,000 deposit towards a new home, the NewBuy scheme will ensure only £10,000 has to be paid for houses and flats worth up to £500,000 and the scheme can be used by first time buyers as well as current home owners moving up the property ladder.
Grant Shapps has also confirmed that he is working with nine organisations and Government Departments to help him identify unused land. This includes support from the Ministry of Justice, HM Treasury, the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the Home Office, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to look at their land holdings for potential new buildings.
Launched just three months ago, the Growing Places Fund was allocated £500 million to unlock sites that have bad infrastructure, to be regenerated, which has created thousands of new jobs in the construction and other related industries. This is on top of the £432 million in cash bonuses that has been confirmed for 353 councils that have had new houses recently built or old properties regenerated into new affordable homes.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps has said:
"The pattern of the past has been to produce endless policies and initiatives that simply gather dust on Whitehall shelves and lead to inaction and inertia. But with the Prime Minister putting housing centre stage on the road to economic recovery, I am determined that we shall not repeat these mistakes of the past.”
“That's why I'm pulling out all the stops for those who want to get on the property ladder, so from March the NewBuy Guarantee scheme will be on hand to help people buying newly built properties with just a fraction of the deposit they would normally need.”
"And for those languishing on council waiting lists, my message is clear: we are doing all we can to bring your wait to an end. That's why today I'm laying the final foundations for a £19 billion deal that will end the 'tenant’s tax' and give councils the freedom they need to build more homes in their area."
The Minster has also released details for ‘ending the tax on tenants’ which is a ground breaking £19 billion deal that will break the centralized social rent system for councils. This means that councils will be allowed to keep the rent they collect from their social housing, which will give them an average of 15 percent more to spend on maintaining and managing their homes.
Finally Mr Shapps proposes to change ‘outdated’ protections for leaseholders as they are not in sync with the changing property prices. This could potentially enable many leaseholders to stay in their home when their lease comes to an end.
Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
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