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What is a starter home?

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:15 pm on 3rd May 2016.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East 7:15 pm, 3rd May 2016

It is quite clear that we want a more democratic system in which people have the opportunity to buy their own homes. The principle introduced in the Bill of encouraging home ownership through that process must be right. Equally, it is quite clear that an unfinished piece of business from the Thatcher revolution of the sale of council homes under the right to buy was that housing association tenants did not have the same opportunity, so I am delighted that the Government are putting that right.

It is right to ensure that people who exercise the right to buy continue to live in their properties as owner-occupiers. It is not right that people should suddenly have a windfall because, having been in social rented accommodation, they are offered a discount on a property that they can either immediately resell or re-let. There should be a taper, and I am glad that the Government have seen sense in accepting that such a taper should apply. There is an argument—or a discussion—about where the taper should start, but the reality is that the vast majority of people see that as the right way forward. People buying a property under the buy-to-let process should also have the opportunity to ensure that they get a discount under the Help to Buy arrangements but, equally, they should not be allowed suddenly to get a windfall and then move on.