13 February 2020
We want to hear members’ views on the potential impacts of the government’s First Homes policy, which is currently open to consultation.
First Homes are new properties to be sold for at least 30% below market value, mostly to first time buyers, with the discount preserved in perpetuity.
The discount is to be largely funded through developer contributions secured by local planning authorities via Section 106. This mechanism currently provides half of housing associations’ new affordable homes.
The government is consulting on the implementation of First Homes, including the potential diversion of between 40-80% of Section 106 contributions away from social and affordable rent and shared ownership. The consultation also proposes removing local planning authorities’ discretion to prioritise according local need.
We are concerned that diverting funding to First Homes will make it more difficult to provide homes for people on lower incomes. We’re also aware of the impact these proposals may have on development pipelines, and housing associations’ ability to plan for the future.
Our priority is to explore these implications further, and put forward a strong sector-wide response.