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What is a starter home?

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 3rd May 2016.

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Photo of Roberta Blackman-Woods Roberta Blackman-Woods Shadow Minister (Housing) 6:00 pm, 3rd May 2016

Absolutely. My hon. Friend makes an excellent point, and it shows why a local test of the need for starter homes is so important.

As I was saying, Lords amendment 9 is not a block on starter homes but a requirement that they are part of a local housing mix. For that reason we shall be supporting the Lords in this amendment. We also find it odd that the Government want to replace Lords amendments 9 and 10 with one on rural exception sites. We support the Government having a policy on rural exception sites, but not at the cost of the exclusion of Lords amendments 9 and 10.

The sale of higher value council housing is one of the most contentious aspects of the Bill. We do not agree that the sale of higher value council housing should be used to fund the right to buy for housing association tenants. Lords amendment 37, tabled by Lords Kennedy, Lisvane and Kerslake, is very straightforward, requiring a setting out of the details of the calculation and payments to be made by local authorities and for them to be put in statutory instruments and subject to affirmative procedure in Parliament. All this amendment seeks is that information is put before Parliament, so that we know exactly what is being demanded from this additional tax on local authorities and so that we get an opportunity to vote on it in this House.