Three year pilot property scheme launched for volunteer groups

A £8.5 million fund has been launched to help communities deliver discounted homes with volunteer groups able to apply for a share of the cash from today (Monday 13 May) as part of a new pilot scheme.

Groups can apply for between £10,000 and £50,000 to help identify suitable sites for discounted homes, get planning permission for them and to provide other technical support. Further free specialist advice and guidance will also be made available for those who participate in the pilot.

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse said that the Government will be making £8.5 million available for the three year pilot project which will help provide cut-price homes for younger people and families in need of housing, through locally-led neighbourhood plans.

‘Supporting volunteers who are passionate about building more of the homes we need in their communities is something I’m fully behind, and I want to see far more people getting involved across England,’ he said.

He explained that the funding is on top of the £26 million already available to help get neighbourhood plans over the line, which act as powerful tools for communities to be involved in the planning of their local area, providing different housing types for those who need new homes.

Discounted homes are properties built for people to buy at affordable rates, allowing them to secure mortgages in areas of the country where they are currently locked out of the market by high prices.

For example, a three bed home from the Cornwall Community Land Trust was recently sold at a discount for local people, for a price of £160,000, which is compared to an average property price in the county of over £230,000.

The fund forms part of a wider package of measures and targeted investment to produce more homes, building on ongoing government action to achieve a system which delivers 300,000 properties a year by the mid 2020s.