Only 7% of local authorities in England say discounted starter homes will address need for affordable housing, TCPA poll reveals

Four in five local councils do not believe that discounted starter homes should be classed as affordable housing, and only 7% feel that they will address the need for affordable homes in their area, according to a survey.

The starter homes scheme, which is a central part of the government’s housing policy, allows developers to replace shared ownership and affordable rented homes with properties sold at a 20% discount on the market rate.

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) contacted 353 councils in England to find out what they thought of the scheme and other changes involving right to buy and social rents.

Of the 105 that responded, which included a mixture of councils under Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat control, 59% said the need for affordable homes in their area was severe.

Among respondents, 87% said starter homes would not address that need and 79% said they did not think that starter homes should be classified as affordable.

The government’s plan to reduce social rents by 1% a year for the next four years were found to have had an impact on many councils’ plans to build, with 69% saying they would create fewer social and affordable homes as a result.

Plans to extend right to buy to housing association properties would also mean fewer homes available for social rents, according to 90% of respondents.

The figures come as the housing bill is scheduled for debate in the House of Lords. The plans for starter homes have been criticised by a number of groups, including the Local Government Association, which found that they would be out of reach to many would-be buyers.

Symonds & Newey are committed to finding pockets of land that can be developed into affordable housing and at time of writing currently have 3 active projects that will meet this need.

Original Article published on The Guardian’s website.