The Government continues to pursue policies which are either irrelevant, pointless, misguided or a combination of all three.
The idea of helping volunteer groups to provide housing appears on the surface to be a good idea.
But, its pretty irrelevant in terms of the number of houses involved, the number of extra affordables will be pitiful.
It is misguided in that it fails to recognise the real issues – developers building the wrong type of houses for the wrong reasons; no limits on people buying or using houses for investment, holiday lets or holiday homes; limited rights for people in private rented accommodation; and the lack of new social housing.
Providing solutions to these issues would make a significant difference.
Oh and we don’t need 300,000 new houses each year – 180,000 at most!
Kit Malthouse, Housing Minister has announced this week that around £8.5 million will be released by the Government to help fund a new pilot affordable housing scheme across local communities. From now, volunteer groups will be entitled to make an application for between £10,000 and £50,000 to enable them to identify potential development sites, obtain technical advice and planning permission via locally led neighbourhood plans.
The pilot scheme is to be run over a three year trial period and is targeted at creating reduced price housing for families and young people in need of local housing.
Kit Malthouse said: “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.” The Government minister added: “I fully support volunteers who are passionate about building more of the homes we need in their communities. I want to see far more people getting involved across England.”
In parts of the country where property prices are high, the demand for discounted properties built at affordable prices, enables local people to secure mortgage lending which without price cuts would be unachievable. For example, a three bed home from the Cornwall Community Land Trust was recently sold to local buyers at a discounted asking price of £160,000, compared to an average property price in the county of more than £230,000.
This latest government funding is part of the wider investment plan to deliver a target of 300,000 new build homes by the mid 2020’s.
Government gives £8.5 million to new neighbourhood affordable housing scheme