HOUSING minister Kit Malthouse has offered community groups a multi-million-pound pot of funding to help them deliver ‘cut price’ housing for local families priced out of the market.
Volunteer groups can apply for between £10,000 and £50,000 to help identify suitable sites for so-called discounted homes, get planning permission for them, and to provide other technical support.
Further free specialist advice and guidance will also be made available for those who participate in the pilot, according to the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG).
The Government will be making £8.5 million available for the three-year pilot project, which is claimed will help provide “cut-price homes for younger people and families in need of housing”, through locally-led neighbourhood plans.
“Supporting volunteers who are passionate about building more of the homes we need in their communities is something I’m fully behind, and I want to see far more people getting involved across England,” said housing minister, Kit Malthouse MP.
“This funding is on top of the £26 million already available to help get neighbourhood plans over the line, which act as powerful tools for communities to be involved in the planning of their local area – providing different housing types for those who need new homes.”
According to MHCLG, discounted homes are properties built for people to buy at “affordable” rates, allowing them to secure mortgages in areas of the country where they are currently locked out of the market by high prices.
The pilot project got underway yesterday and is set to run until 31 March 2022.
Responding to the announcement, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesperson, Councillor Martin Tett, said: “The Government’s announcement of £8.5 million is a positive step and will support some communities to take forward the delivery of discounted homes in their area.
“It is important that local community groups receive the encouragement and support to ensure they work with councils so that the right people get the right support.
“However, in order to tackle the national housing shortage councils also need to be empowered to build more affordable, good-quality homes at scale, and fast.
“By recently lifting the borrowing cap on councils to invest in new and existing housing, the Government showed it had heard our argument that councils must be part of the solution to the housing crisis. In order to resume their historic role as major builders of affordable homes, councils now also need to be able to keep 100% of Right to Buy receipts to ensure they can replace any homes sold.
“A genuine renaissance in council housebuilding is the only way to boost housing supply, help families struggling to meet housing costs, and tackle the housing waiting lists many councils have.”