Queen's Speech 2019: Discounted local homes and 'infrastructure first' policies promised

The government is to consult "shortly" on a pledge in the Conservative election manifesto to provide discounted homes for "local people and key workers" and to create a new fund to provide infrastructure in new developments before any housing is occupied, it has been announced.

Parliament: Queen's Speech delivered today (pic Jeffery Begge, Flickr)
Parliament: Queen's Speech delivered today (pic Jeffery Begge, Flickr)

The Conservative manifesto promised to give councils powers to use developer contributions to discount new homes for "local people" by a third "in perpetuity". "Councils could use this to prioritise key workers in their area, like police, nurses and teachers," the document said.

Currently, councils have a choice over the mix of affordable homes they require through their local plans, and negotiate individual allocations on individual planning applications, taking viability considerations into account.

A briefing note published alongside today’s Queen’s Speech today said the government "will shortly launch a consultation" on the discounted homes policy which is to be called "First Homes".

"This will provide homes for local people and key workers at a discount of at least 30 per cent - saving them tens of thousands of pounds," the note said.

The document added that the discount on First Homes "will be secured through a covenant", meaning that "these homes will remain discounted in perpetuity, supporting people now and in the future who aspire to own a home of their own".

A statement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published after the speech said that councils will be able to "use housing developers’ contributions to discount homes by 30 per cent for people who cannot otherwise afford to buy in their area".

The note also said that a "£10bn Single Housing Infrastructure fund will provide the roads, schools and GP surgeries needed to support new homes."

Alongside First Homes, "this will ensure local people truly benefit from house building in their area and build support for new developments," the note said.

The infrastructure policy reflects another manifesto pledge which promised to provide infrastructure in new developments before any housing is occupied.

The manifesto said that planning rules would be amended "so that the infrastructure – roads, schools, GP surgeries – comes before people move into new homes". 

Today's speech also promised that the government will: 

  • renew the government's affordable homes programme, "building hundreds of thousands of new homes for a range of people in different places".
  • bring forward a social housing white paper which will set out measures to "support the continued supply of social homes" and "improve the quality of social housing".
  • introduce a reformed shared ownership model, "making buying a share of a home fairer and more transparent".

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