First-time buyers could get a 30% discount on new affordable homes - here’s how

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 10:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 10:59 am
Buildings and land in town centres can be developed without planning permission (Photo: Shutterstock)

Getting a foot on the property ladder could soon become a little easier, after Boris Johnson has revealed plans for a new affordable housing scheme.

The scheme was announced by the Prime Minister on Tuesday 30 June, during a speech at Dudley College of Technology, as part of the government’s plans to help the country recover following the coronavirus outbreak.

How will the scheme work?

Mr Johnson set out plans to reform the UK’s planning system, which will make it easier to build better homes in areas where people want to live. New regulations will mean that buildings and land in town centres will be allowed to be developed without planning permission.

The new plans also mean that new homes can be created from empty buildings, such as high street stores which have closed as a result of coronavirus.

The government said the plans would mean unused buildings can be repurposed, allowing new homes to be created without eating into greenbelt land.

However, some types of property would be exempt from the new scheme, including community pubs and libraries.

Additionally, property owners will also be permitted to build extra space above their properties through a “fast track approval process”.

These changes are planned to come into effect by September.

Will first-time buyers get a discount?

As well as planning reforms, the Prime Minister confirmed plans for a £12 billion affordable housing scheme. This is aimed at supporting up to 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next eight years.

Smaller house builders will also be given an extra £450 million in funding for new housing developments, which is intended to support the delivery of around 7,200 new homes.

In the affordable homes scheme, a 1,500 unit pilot of ‘First Homes’ will be included for buyers who want to stay in their community where they live or work, but are struggling to buy a property at market prices.

These homes will be sold to first-time buyers with a discount of 30 per cent, and will encompass flats and houses built on developments across the UK.

The discount will then be passed on to future buyers when First Homes are resold, allowing more buyers to get a foot onto the property ladder.