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What is a starter home?

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 3rd May 2016.

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Photo of Roberta Blackman-Woods Roberta Blackman-Woods Shadow Minister (Housing) 6:15 pm, 3rd May 2016

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point and I shall come on to deal with that issue when discussing a later amendment.

Why do the Government not want to provide the information I referred to and to have this scrutiny? The lack of information on this policy is an issue that has been taken up by the Public Accounts Committee, too. The Minister will be aware that it said:

“It is not clear how this policy will be funded in practice, or what its financial impacts might be. The Department’s intention is for this policy to be fully funded by local authorities, but it was unable to provide any figures to demonstrate that this would be the case…More widely, an even bigger risk will fall on those local authorities required to sell housing stock to fund the policy, as those assets will in effect be transferred to central government. But the Department did not appear to have a good understanding of the size of these risks”.

The Committee went on to say:

“The commitment to replace homes sold under this policy on at least a one-for-one basis will not ensure that these will be like-for-like replacements as regards size, location or tenure. Experience of the reinvigorated Right to Buy for council tenants, introduced in 2012, shows that meeting such one-for-one replacement targets can be difficult…Moreover, replacement homes can be in different areas, be a different size, and cost more to rent. Neither do they need to be new homes”.