It made the promise repeatedly within its 2015 election manifesto but now appears to be withdrawing the policy and will leave it to councils to determine if and how many should be built.
Responding to a Parliamentary Question asking how many starter homes the government aims to build over the current Parliament, Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said: “The number delivered will depend on what local authorities consider most appropriate to respond to housing need in their area.”
Barwell added that starter homes would form an important part of programmes to help over 200,000 people become home owners by the end of the Parliament.
Starter homes were to be sold to at 20% below the market price to help get young adults on to the housing ladder.
Second broken promise
However, that commitment appears to be the second within a week that the Conservatives have ditched following the announcement to raise National Insurance for self-employed people in the Budget.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) told Mortgage Solutions: “Starter homes remain an important part of this government’s commitment to getting people onto the housing ladder.
“We want to make sure the right homes are built in the right places, with councils delivering starter homes as part of a mixed package of affordable housing that can respond to local needs.
“That includes our extra £1.4bn investment for our Affordable Homes Programme. This takes our total investment to more than £7bn to build around 225,000 affordable homes in this Parliament.”
The DCLG added that it had committed £1.2bn to a starter homes land fund which would invest in sites that include a high proportion of starter homes alongside other types of affordable home ownership.
However, the costs and affordability of properties under the Affordable Homes Programme can be more widely interpreted than the Starter Homes Initiative.