Starter Homes Contents


The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has failed to deliver the 200,000 discounted Starter Homes it promised first-time buyers in 2015. Despite setting out the legislative framework for Starter Homes in 2016, the Department never put in place the necessary secondary legislation and regulations to make Starter Homes a reality. By 2017, Starter Homes as a distinct policy had been abandoned, although it was not until 2020 that the Department formally announced the end of the policy.

Since 2015, some 85,000 people had registered their interest in Starter Homes, only to hear in 2020 that they had been waiting in vain. The Department is now introducing a new policy with similar aims—First Homes—but is unable to say when they will be available for first-time buyers to purchase. This cycle of policy invention, abandonment and reinvention, stringing expectant young people along for years, and wasting time and resources on policies that come to nothing as ministers come and go with alarming frequency, is deplorable.

As we have heard before, the Department remains unable or unwilling to clarify how it will achieve its ambition of 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s. We are also concerned about the blurring of the definition of affordable housing. It is essential that the Department is clear what ‘affordable’ means to different sectors of society and in different areas of the country. This Committee has reported regularly on housing delivery since 2015, and not one of the promised housing programmes has delivered its objectives. Indeed, most have fallen woefully short. The Department needs to set out realistic, staged plans that will have a more realistic prospect of delivering homes, rather than the mere promise of more homes. It badly needs to renew confidence among future tenants and owners that the homes they want and need will be built.

Published: 9 December 2020 Site information    Accessibility statement