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The much awaited Government housing strategy was unveiled today with many seeing it not as the “radical and unashamedly ambitious strategy” professed in the foreword, but as simply not radical enough.
The private rented sector is set to be boosted by tax changes as stamp duty will be assessed on the average value of individual properties instead of on the overall value of the portfolio and the Government is also pushing to develop Real Estate Investment Trusts to remove obstacles from in front of investors.
Homes built specifically for buy to let could be funded by major investors and landlords are to be given help to fully understand their responsibilities.
Some of the worst concentrations of empty homes will be tackled with an additional £50million fund and councils will be rewarded through the New Homes Bonus for bringing them back into the market. There are also plans for consultation on a council tax premium to be introduced on homes that have been empty for two years.
The Government will have 170,000 new affordable homes available through the Affordable New Homes Programme as £1billion worth of contracts have been confirmed out of the £1.8bn pot. More land is to become available for new builds too in a “build now, pay later” proposal, supposedly set to free up land for 100,000 new homes.
Stalled projects have also been given a boost as the Get Britain Building’s £400m fund is expected to help finish 16,000 new homes. Self-builds are to be boosted by a £30 million injection to help cover finances.
Social Housing is to be revamped, tenancies will be reassessed to ensure high-earners aren’t paying too little; housing providers can charge market rate. Right-to-buy homes could be sold at half their value and they are to replace every right-to-buy with one for rent. Local Councils are to take control of their stock too, financially and how they allocate it. Home-owners will no longer find it as easy to obtain social housing too.
All new homes will be built to Zero Carbon homes standard by 2016 and there was further confirmation of the Green Deal as Government continued to push for greener homes.
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