Going, going – almost gone – end of short lived £100k homes
- Credit: Archant
Fast track dismantling of the £100,000 Homes policy beloved of former metro mayor James Palmer is almost complete.
Labour mayor Dr Nik Johnson pledged to end it and a report before the combined authority housing and communities committee will do just that.
Since they were announced, 3,093 people registered an interest.
Only one scheme has been completed – eight one-bedroom flats at Fordham.
But despite them completing last Christmas, they remain unoccupied.
Combined authority housing director Roger Thompson said of the Fordham homes: "There has been some delay in lenders seeking to understand the new housing product.”
He says “these now appear to be resolved” and five have mortgage offers, one is waiting for a mortgage decision and two have mortgages in principle.
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Mr Thompson provides the committee with updates on three other sites:
1: Great Abingdon
2: Histon Road, Cambridge
3: Alexander House, Ely
The £100k home element of Great Abington has switched to a First Homes scheme.
Histon Road will be bought by the city council “and delivered through a different affordable housing tenure”
And the four £100k flats at Alexander House by Laragh Home will be handled by East Cambs Council.
The combined authority will focus on the nationally introduced First Homes Policy.
Mr Thompson says: “This change in policy places a mandatory requirement for a local planning authority to secure 25 per cent of their affordable housing stock as First Homes.”
First Homes is discounted market sale housing available to those who are eligible at a 30 per cent discount on open market value.
“First Homes are a specific kind of discounted market sale housing and should be considered to meet the definition of ‘affordable housing’ for planning purposes,” says Mr Thompson.
The homes will be only be offered to those who meet eligibility criteria.
Mr Thompson says the First Homes Policy is almost identical to the £100K Homes Policy, in that it is discounted market sale housing in perpetuity.
“Each local authority will have the option to develop a local connection policy and this is matter for each local authority, not the combined authority,” he says.
The housing director adds that there are “reputational risks” associated with ending the £100k homes policy and an “effective communications strategy” is in place.