Queen’s Speech confirms First Homes initiative

The Queen’s speech back in December confirmed the government will bring forward measures to boost home ownership, with a consultation to follow shortly on its “First Homes” initiative.

In her speech setting out a summary of the government’s intended legislative programme – the second in two months following the general election which returned a Conservative majority – the Queen stated that the government “will take steps to support home ownership, including by making homes available at a discount for local first time buyers.”

Offering more detail in a briefing document, the government stated that it would shortly launch a consultation on First Homes – an initiative announced in its election manifesto – under which homes will be provided for local people and key workers at a discount of “at least” 30%.

This discount, the government explained, would be secured through a covenant and funded by developers, allowing the homes to remain discounted “in perpetuity, supporting people now and in the future who aspire to own a home of their own.”

The Queen’s speech document also confirmed previously revealed plans, including the introduction of a reformed shared ownership model “making buying a share of a home fairer and more transparent”.

It reiterated the government’s commitment to building “at least” 1 million more homes during the current parliament, with further steps to be revealed “in the coming months,” including the launch of a Planning White Paper.

The White Paper, among other measures, would address resourcing and performance in planning departments, the government’s document read.

The Queen’s speech also reiterated the government’s intention to legislate to improve building safety. And in its latest document, the government confirmed plans to bring a new homes ombudsman into law, with developers required to become members.