Ministers urged to create 250,000 new homes for key workers

The government is being urged to create 250,000 new homes for key workers as a reward for their efforts during the pandemic.

The Centre for Policy Studies is calling for changes to help key workers, both in the public and private sector, get their foot on the property ladder, and repay them for their efforts during the pandemic.

The promised ‘Home 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 and would complement the government’s new First Home product to boost ownership over the rest of this decade.

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 Homes for Heroes across England, giving a total of 250,000 such homes across the five-year land supply that Government is aiming for, while helping key workers into ownership.

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 also suggests that the government could boost such a scheme at no real cost by enabling the scheme to access existing housing guarantees, building on the success of past guarantee schemes such as the in the private rental sector. This would not be a new commitment, but would involve reallocating around £5 billion pledged but currently sitting unused.

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