Published: 00:00, 28 December 2016
| Updated: 13:34, 28 December 2016
A new annual fund to help build more affordable homes for first-time buyers will see Dover and Deal receive half a million in the first year.
It was announced on December 23 that the two towns will get £508,829 from the 2016/17 Community Housing Fund’s £60 million pot.
The cash, raised through higher stamp duty on second homes, will help local groups deliver affordable housing aimed at first-time buyers in response to the problem second homes can cause in reducing supply.
Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke has welcomed the housing boost for the constituency.
He said: “It’s great that Dover and Deal are getting help to build more homes for first-time buyers.
“We’ve worked hard to get thousands more homes in our area. Yet still, young people are finding it too hard to get on the housing ladder.
“It shouldn’t just be an aspiration, it should be the norm.
“That’s why I’ll keep fighting to help first-time buyers in Dover and Deal.”
One third of the funding - almost £20 million - will be allocated directly to local authorities in the south west as that is the most popular region for second homes in England. It accounts for 21% of all second homeownership.
The south east will receive the second highest amount, out of nine regions, of around £11 million.
The north east will receive the smallest sum of £1,314,600.
The first year of funding will be used to build capacity within local groups such as improving technical skills, setting up support hubs to offer advice, business planning and providing staff to review local housing needs.
Funding the following year must then be used to deliver housing on the ground for local people.
The number of new builds started in Dover and Deal in 2015 was 394, almost double the UK average of 222.
Mr Elphicke recently visited Connaught Barracks in Dover, where 500 homes are being built. Many will be starter homes for first-time buyers.