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Further Help to Buy extension gives builders time to complete – housing minister

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  • 27/01/2021
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Further Help to Buy extension gives builders time to complete – housing minister
Housing minister Christopher Pincher believes the further one-month extension given to builders to complete properties under the expiring Help to Buy scheme is satisfactory.

 

The additional time was granted just days after Pincher said there would be no further extension.

Homes England has now given builders until 31 March to complete properties – the same day the scheme is due to expire before being replaced the next day.

However, Pincher added that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) would “continue to monitor the situation closely”.

There has been significant concern about the Help to Buy deadlines for builders and buyers since the first Covid-19 lockdown almost a year ago which delayed work on many construction sites.

In July the government and Homes England provided developers an extra two months’ build time giving them until 28 February to build out properties, with the deadline for legal completion remaining at 31 March.

Where reservations were agreed before 30 June 2020, buyers have been given further flexibility allowing practical completion by 30 April and legal completion by 31 May.

However, Labour MPs Rebecca Long-Bailey and Rosie Cooper raised the issue in written questions, asking if the government was considering a further extension to ensure people could complete within the new deadlines.

Pincher replied: “Working in line with sector guidance, the construction industry has been allowed to continue during the subsequent Covid-19 restrictions.

Reservations for the current scheme were closed on 15 December, providing builders sufficient time to complete their orders.

“Meanwhile, to mitigate against the risk of outstanding reservations not completing in time, Homes England announced on 15 January that it will not enforce the practical completion deadline of 28 February 2021 for the current scheme, thereby maximising the remaining time available time for developers to build out.

“These measures provide relief for developers to build out homes delayed by Covid-19. We nevertheless continue to monitor the situation closely.”

 

 

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