A new report is calling for the government to build 250,000 homes for key workers to help them get their foot on the property ladder
‘Homes for Heroes’ would be a new type of housing to help key workers such as nurses, teachers or supermarket workers. It would also help to increase the supply of new homes overall.
The report argues that new local plans as currently proposed by Government should ensure that land for 50,000 homes a year should be set aside for key workers across England, giving a total of 250,000 homes across the five-year land supply.
Homes for Heroes would encourage private investors to work with local councils, delivering affordable homes for key workers.
A large proportion of all homes on any of these sites should offer a lower-cost path to home ownership, such as shared ownership or rent to buy, with the remainder dedicated to good quality family rental property, with strong tenancy protections.
The report, co-written by former No 10 housing adviser Alex Morton, argues that the government could enhance such a scheme at no real cost by enabling it to access existing housing guarantees. This would not be a new commitment, but would involve reallocating around £5bn pledged but currently sitting unused.
This approach would also help diversify the housing market, encouraging new market entrants, new products and a new customer base.
The report also suggests that the definition of key worker could be expanded to include all relevant private sector workers as well as public sector workers.
‘Delivering a path to home ownership’
Alex Morton, the report’s author and CPS head of policy, said: “Homes for Heroes can deliver a path to home ownership that is substantially cheaper than renting or other schemes to promote home ownership.
“This financially sustainable model of new housing delivery can be done without any upfront cost to Government while providing a sufficient return for investors and a reasonable price to housebuilders.
“If these policies are pursued, we could see the first Homes for Heroes delivered very rapidly with more in the pipeline – a clear thank you for the key workers who put so much on the line during the recent pandemic. This would deliver the government’s goals of more home ownership, greater supply and a better-quality housing sector, and provide a model for future housing development.”