The change in national policy, away from building homes for people to rent and requiring new developments to have Starter Homes, is having an impact in Sussex. A site in Chichester originally had plans for 48 affordable homes (both for rent and shared ownership). That would have been 30% of the 160 homes planned at Lower Graylingwell.
Instead, 50% of the 160 homes will be Starter Homes – for first time buyers. These are considered ‘affordable’ by the government.
It means that the local council will lose nomination rights and its ability to insist that the homes are made available for local people to meet local housing need.
Starter Homes are sold at a 20% discount on market values for a maximum of £250,000 outside London.
A survey by Shelter has shown that Starter Homes are not affordable for the majority of people on the National Living Wage in the majority of local authority areas in England. (See the graphic below).
If Starter Homes are beyond the means of people on the National Living Wage, so too are homes in the private rented sector. In Brighton and Hove the average private rent is now well over £1000 per month.
The question to those supporting the Starter Homes initiative remains: “Who will house people on low and medium incomes?”