From today, homebuilders across England can bid for their share of a £150m funding package by offering plots for sale as First Homes.
The government says it wants to encourage housebuilders to get involved with its flagship housing scheme in order to deliver more First Homes across the country in the coming months.
The government hopes to deliver 1,500 such homes for first-time buyers and key workers by March 2023.
First Homes offers homes at a discount of at least 30% (compared with the market price) to local first-time buyers and key workers.
The same percentage will then be passed on with the sale of the property to future first-time buyers.
This means homes will always be sold below market value – which the government says will benefit local communities for generations to come.
The package follows the initial introduction of First Homes earlier this summer, where local sites were opened up in Bolsover, East Midlands, developed by Keepmoat Homes; and Cannock, West Midlands, developed by Vistry Partnerships.
Leeds Building Society recently received the first mortgage application for a First Homes property as more homes come onto the market.
Commenting on the initiative, Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Lenders have already seen the first mortgage applications come in as more homes come onto the market.
“It will support local communities and give local people a greater chance of getting on the housing ladder and having a place which they can call their own.
“Just as importantly, homebuilders of all shapes and sizes will now be able to benefit from this scheme while helping first-time buyers and key workers onto the property ladder.”
Peter Freeman, chair of Homes England, added: “The Early Delivery Programme is a great opportunity for housebuilders, housing associations, and the wider development sector to get to grips with First Homes.
“We look forward to working with partners to help aspiring homeowners realise their ambitions and own their own home.
“Councils will also be able to prioritise the homes for keyworkers such as nurses and teachers who have been looking to get on the housing ladder while supporting their community throughout the pandemic.”
Are you a social housing professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.