The Centre for Policy Studies last night called for 50,000 new “Homes for Heroes” to be built every year as a reward for their efforts. A report written by a former Downing Street adviser on housing policy proposes a new category of housing for key workers. Under the plan, the houses would be built for rental initially but tenants would be offered a pathway towards home ownership. The report says the proposal would help fulfil the 2019 Tory manifesto’s promise to providing housing for key workers in their local communities, as well as increase housebuilding by creating a new market.
It recommends that land should be set aside under local plans to support the construction of 250,000 homes.
The report says the houses can be built at no extra cost to taxpayers by allowing the Homes for Heroes scheme to draw cash from £5billion already set aside unallocated housing guarantees.
Long-term investors such as pension funds could also be attracted to fund homes under the scheme, says the report.
Both public and private sector workers including nurses, teachers and supermarket workers should be entitled to apply for homes under the scheme, says the Centre for Policy Studies.
The report argues that new local plans as currently proposed by the Government should ensure that land for 50,000 homes a year should be set aside for Homes for Heroes across England.
A total of 250,000 such homes could be built over the the five-year land supply that Government is aiming for.
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To help tenants become home owners, they could be offered shared ownership or rent-to-buy arrangements, says the report.
This would help those with secure jobs to get on to the housing ladder and gradually increase their ownership share, without the need for a hefty deposit, argues the Centre for Policy Studies.
Alex Morton, the report’s author and CPS Head of Policy, said: “Homes for Heroes can deliver a path to home ownership that is substantially cheaper than renting or other schemes to promote home ownership.
“This financially sustainable model of new housing delivery can be done without any upfront cost to Government while providing a sufficient return for investors and a reasonable price to house builders.
“If these policies are pursued, we could see the first Homes for Heroes delivered very rapidly with more in the pipeline – a clear thank you for the key workers who put so much on the line during the recent pandemic.
“This would deliver the Government’s goals of more home ownership, greater supply and a better-quality housing sector, and provide a model for future housing development.”
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