A watchdog investigation has found that not a single starter home of the 200,000 pledged to be created by the Conservative government in 2015 has been built, despite the government having set aside more than £2bn for the project. The properties were to be sold exclusively to first time buyers under the age of 40 as a means for yound people to get on the property ladder.
The scheme was given the go ahead by statutory framework outlined in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 but Watchdog review points out the relevant legislation is yet to come into force. The budget has also been redistributed and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government no longer has the budget to complete the exercise, even after £174m of taxpayer’s money has been used to prepare land intended for the starter homes.
It has been suggested funding which 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.
An MHCLG spokesperson said: “We are committed to building more homes and supporting people into home ownership. We have a great track record and housebuilding is at its highest level for all but one of the last 30 years – with 222,000 homes delivered last year, and 1.3m in total since 2010, including over 430,000 affordable homes.
“The number of first-time buyers is currently at an 11-year annual high, and over 560,000 households have been helped into home ownership through government schemes like help to buy and right to buy.”