'A flagship government programme to deliver 200,000 discounted new homes to first-time buyers is yet to see a single one built.
The 2014 Starter Home initiative was touted as part of “a major push” to help people on the housing ladder, but officials admit delivering any properties under the scheme remains an “ambition”.
It promised to achieve its target by pushing councils and developers to bring forward unused land and build on old industrial sites, things Philip Hammond will again pledge to do as he makes housing a key plank of his Budget on Wednesday.
The Starter Home initiative’s lack of concrete progress also comes as Labour claimed Conservative spending plans since 2010 have stripped some £20bn out of UK house-building projects, robbing the country of an extra 280,000 homes.
It was just before Christmas three years ago that David Cameron announced the Starter Home project, promising to build 100,000 properties and offer them to young people at a 20 per cent discount.
At the autumn statement in 2015 then-chancellor George Osborne said a £2.3bn fund would help boost the number to 200,000, “in addition to those delivered through reform of the planning system”.
None have been built despite officials in 2014 saying work would begin on the homes the following year.'
Read more: Flagship Government housing plan fails to deliver a single home in three years
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13 January 2018
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