Julie James, MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government
On 16th September 2020 I announced a phase three of Help to Buy in Wales, advising that the scheme would run for 12 months from the 1st April 2021, with the hope of a further 12 months, subject to the availability of funding. Today I am pleased to confirm that the scheme will continue for that additional twelve month period and will be available until the end of March 2023.
This is good news for potential customers, house builders large and small, and all associated with the buying and selling of new build homes.
I want everyone in Wales to have access to a good quality affordable home, where they feel safe and can reach their full potential. Help to Buy Wales has, and will continue to play, an important role in the delivery of this ambition. During this term of government, until the end of December 2020, the scheme has delivered 8,503 homes, providing financial assistance to enable people who require support to achieve their dream of home ownership. During the next two years we have the potential to support many more to achieve that dream.
Help to Buy Wales has been an effective lever in supporting best practice, helping ensure that leasehold is used only where it is strictly necessary, for example in relation to sales of flats. Phase 3 of Help to Buy in Wales will restrict ground rents for leasehold homes sold through the scheme to a peppercorn and will also require homes to be of good quality and broadband ready.
It is our intention that the scheme should continue to lead by example. Whilst it will of course be a matter for the next Government to decide if Help to Buy Wales will continue beyond 2023 I know that developers need clarity over future expectations to inform their planning. I am therefore also taking this opportunity to set out our ambition that market homes of the future should meet the same space standards we expect of social homes. This ambition would be reflected in any future extension to Help to Buy in Wales.
Setting equal standards will not only ensure everyone has the space to flourish but also open up further opportunities for collaboration between social housing providers and market builders and support the development of truly mixed tenure communities.
In making this announcement today I am providing the opportunity for the people of Wales, and everyone involved in the housing industry, to be able to plan for the future and I am making clear our intention to continue to use Help to Buy in Wales as a tool to promote best practice and sustain the delivery of good quality homes for the people of Wales.