Kate Faulkener Live on BBC Radio 4
Friend of Maxine Lester and UK Property Analyst Kate Faulkner talks to BBC Radio 4’s TODAY presenter Mishal Husain about the disappearance of the 200,000 Starter Homes promised by the Conservative Government in the party’s 2015 Manifesto.
The Tory party’s 2015 manifesto committed to building starter homes across England to be sold exclusively to first-time buyers between the age of 23 and 40 years, in order to help first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder.
The National Audit Office (NAO) stated today that no such homes have been built because the government has not budgeted for them or activated all of the necessary legislation. Kate explains that the criteria for the scheme were pretty complicated:
- Age 23 – 40 years only
- Joint income under £80k pa
- No cash buyers
- Homes up to £250,000 value outside of London
- Or £450,000 in London
Buyers would have the option to purchase 80% of the property and could not sell within 5 years without hefty consequences.
The 2015 spending review set aside £2.3 billion to support the delivery of the first 60,000 properties under the scheme, however, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) no longer has a budget dedicated to the project, auditors said in a report released on Tuesday. Funding that had been earmarked for the scheme has instead been spent on acquiring and preparing brownfield sites for housing more generally – some of which was “affordable” housing.
Kate suggests that the constant upheaval in the Housing Department, with 5 Secretary of State appointments and 7 Housing Ministers since the announcement of the legislation could make it incredibly difficult to get the legislation passed. Or it could just be a lack of will and the manifesto will just quietly disappear!
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