The Chancellor’s combined Autumn Statement and Spending Review included a range of measures intended to enable more people to own their own homes. Presented as a ‘Five Point Plan for housing’ worth over £20bn, the main announcements included the following:
1 – Measures to build 400,000 affordable houses by 2020/21, including 200,000 Starter Homes which will be sold at a 20% discount compared to market value to young first time buyers, and 135,000 Help to Buy: Shared Ownership homes. Existing constraints that prevent private sector organisations participating in the delivery of such programmes will be removed
2 – Extending the Right to Buy scheme to Housing Association tenants, with an initial pilot scheme involving five Housing Associations
3 – Measures to accelerate housing supply, including reforms to the current planning system to encourage house building and helping to release more public sector land and brownfield sites
4 – Extending the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme to 2021 and creating a special London Help to Buy scheme which offers a 40% equity loan
5 – Using some of the revenue from increased SDLT rates on purchases of additional residential properties to provide £60m for communities in England most affected by the impact of second homes, doubling their affordable housing budget to help first time buyers.