Government Promises Help for First Time Buyers by Pledging Fresh Planning Changes

29 August 2019

Housing secretary Rober Jenrick has confirmed that he will be reforming the planning system to increase housing delivery over the coming months.

In a discussion paper entitled Making Home Ownership Affordable, published on 28th August 2019, the government has announced that it is exploring how planning changes can increase additional sites for homes that first-time buyers can afford to buy. Within this brief consultation document, the government is proposing “a new national model for shared ownership to help aspiring first-time buyers.” The document also confirms that existing schemes which sell homes at 20 per cent or more below market price to local people are a “foundation to build on”. Commenting in the MHCLG statement, Jenrick added that he would be “looking at ensuring young people from Cornwall to Cumbria aren’t priced out of their home areas and how we can build public support for more house building and better planning.” The document says the government “will set out further details soon”.

Interestingly, Jenrick appears to be placing emphasis on the importance of selling a proportion of new homes at a discounted rate to local people. This focus on local people is a new stipulation on the original Starter Homes concept.