Starting to Influence

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Whilst the majority of the Housing Sector's focus has centred around the political ping pong of the Housing and Planning Bill between the Houses of Commons and Lords, it is easy to forget the current Department for Communities and Local Government's Consultation on Starter Homes Regulations. However the importance of the Consultation cannot be underestimated.

For all the controversy of the Housing and Planning Bill, it is surprising how little detail is contained within the actual Bill itself. The provisions on Starter Homes (which amount to less than 3 and half pages of the original Bill) are sadly no exception, with the majority of the detail being provided by Ministerial Regulations and not Parliamentary scrutiny.

In effect the Housing and Planning Bill is a colouring book and the Consultation enables the Housing and Construction Sectors to actually influence the colour of the Regulations themselves.

The Consultation expires on Wednesday 18th May 2016 and responses may be e-mailed to starterhomestechnicalconsultation@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Key Points of the Consultation

(a) How long should the Starter Homes discount be repayable for?

(b) Should the discount be portable to new owners?

(c) Should the discount be tapered like Right to Buy sales so that the amount repayable would decrease each year until the end of the discount period?

(d) Should the Property have restrictions on subletting during the discount period?

(e) Should Starter Homes be mandatory for all Developments of 10 units or more (or 0.5 hectres)? If not when should they be mandatory and why?

(f) Should a minimum of 20% of all Developments comprising over 10 units be Starter Homes?  

(g) What type of developments should be exempt from Starter Homes?

(h) Should older persons housing (but with no additional support) and Build to Rent developments be required to make Starter Homes Contributions?

(j) How do you envisage the open market value of Starter Homes will compare with other affordable housing products including; social rent, affordable rent and affordable home ownership?  

At Blake Morgan we recognise that with increased time constraints on Housing Associations and Developers it is increasingly difficult to allocate time to provide formal consultation responses. As a consequence Blake Morgan are looking to provide a super response, gauging as much opinion as possible from the Housing and Construction Sectors and are looking to hear from as many people and organisations as possible. Please note that this is not just a limited offer to our clients.    

Please contact our social housing team with your concerns and suggestions so we can ensure that these are heard.