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The Housing Bill

At the opening of the new parliament the Queens Speech included a number of issues relating to the property market, which have been widely met with a positive reaction.

The new starter homes for first time buyers will be offered at a 20% discount below their open market value and the current Right to Buy levels of discount will be extended to 1.3 million housing association tenants. To help aid the chronic lack of housing, local authorities will be required to sell high value council houses that are vacant which will then in turn help fund the Right to Buy extension discounts and help build more affordable homes.

The government will also take forward the Right to Build scheme, requiring local planning authorities to support custom and self-builders registered in their area in identifying suitable plots of land to build or commission their own home. A statutory register for brownfield land will be introduced to help achieve the target of getting Local Development Orders in place on 90% of suitable brownfield sites by 2020.

The neighbourhood planning system will be simplified to the process made quicker to support communities that seek to meet local housing and other development needs through neighbourhood planning.

Overall the reaction from the property and housing industries has been positive as the Housing Bill does address the pressing need to build more new homes across the country, particularly in London. Some worry that the houses will not be built in the area that people need them and they will be too pricey for the first time buyer however only time will tell what the results of the Housing Bill will bring.

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