First Homes Scheme Poses Affordable Homes Risk, Housing Association Warns

The government’s First Homes policy could lead to thousands fewer affordable homes if Section 106 proposals are actioned, according to the G15 housing association.

The First Homes scheme will aim to deliver affordable homes for first-time buyers across England, providing applicants with 30% off new build homes, which could provide a saving of £94,000 (based on new build properties in England costing £314,000 on average). 

The 30% deposit applies across the deposit and mortgage requirements, but according to the National Housing Federation and the Local Government Association, even a 50% discount would not be affordable to median-income households. 

The government is prioritising access for military veterans and key workers including nurses, police officers and firefighters. But the scheme has previously been criticised by organisations including Shelter, which claimed around 96% of average earners in England will still be unable to afford a home.

Now, G15, which represents London’s largest housing associations, says the proposal to pay for these discounts through Section 106 planning contributions would deliver 3,629 fewer affordable homes. 

“The prospect of removing approximately 50% of the current supply route to the market by using Section 106 to deliver First Homes is of great concern,” said G15.

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