A new annual £60 million Community Housing Fund has been launched by Government to help 148 councils tackle the problem of high levels of second homeownership in their communities.
The Fund comes in the form of a grant to local authorities to support local community affordable housing projects aimed at first-time buyers.
The first year of funding will be used to build capacity within local groups such as improving technical skills, setting up support hubs to offer advice, business planning and providing staff to review local housing needs.
Funding the following year must then be used to deliver housing on the ground for local people.
Local authorities will be working closely with community-led housing groups and other stakeholders – such as the Community Land Trusts network or the Home and Communities Agency – throughout to ensure the right tools are in place to ensure efficient delivery of new houses in subsequent years.
The Fund will be an important source of support for community groups wanting to bring forward custom and self build housing projects. It follows the announcement in the Budget 2016 that government would use some of the money raised from the Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge on additional properties to help those communities affected by second homeownership. The Fund is designed to particularly address the challenge of delivering more affordable new homes for first time buyers in areas where there is a high proportion of second homes.
Further details and a list of local authorities benefiting from the Fund can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/60-million-boost-for-communities-affected-by-second-homeownership