Has New Homes Bonus Finally Ended?

Can anyone tell me for sure if New Homes Bonus (NHB) has finally ended?

The Government said they would consult on the future of NHB in the spring of 2020, but they still do not appear to have made any comment on this yet.

Neither our Finance Team, Council Tax Team or any other Local Authority I have spoken to recently say they know if the NHB scheme has definitely ended or is still continuing. The MHCLG could not give any definitive answer on this when approached either!

And yet......we were (once again) approached last week by Capacity Grid, offering their services to help us with NHB this for this year!  The VOA also seem to think that an NHB count may be going ahead this year.  Do they know something we don't?

So help!  Can anyone out there shed any definite light on the 'mystery' of the current existence or non-existence of the NHB scheme? 

If so, I (and many others, I'm sure) would be very grateful to know!

Patrick Gordon

Empty Property Oficer

Brighton & Hove City Council 



New Homes Bonus

A very good question. A while back I approached my previous contact at MHCLG, off the back of the earlier post re: messages coming out of the VOA. Emailed and left a phone message but no response to either. So we are still none the wiser and Covid has obviously made the task of carrying out checks harder, even if we did have confirmation it was continuing. Time is also now not on our side. 

James Bailey

Senior Officer (City of York Council)

The continued uncertainty is very frustrating. But in the absence of definitive information we've embarked on a data cleanse, if only to keep the headline figure for number of LTE properties as low as possible so that we can better defend challenges about that. Hopefully there'll be a financial benefit too. So far we've amended about 400 incorrectly classified accounts, and expect more over the coming weeks.

As I understand it, in a written statement to Parliament on 06 February 2020 about the Final local government finance settlement 2020 to 2021 the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirmed that the government would be making a new round of NHB allocations for 2020-21 (no legacy payments to be made on these new allocations, but legacy payments to be made on allocations in earlier years which are due to be paid in 2020-21). Further, it was announced that in order to ensure that the New Homes Bonus is focussed on incentivising homes where they are needed most the government will consult on the future of the housing incentive in the Spring [2020], and that this will include moving to a new, more targeted approach that rewards local authorities where they are ambitious in delivering homes needed. It appears that no consultation has yet been initiated, presumably due to the impact of the current coronavirus pandemic. But it seems that NHB is alive for the timebeing until replaced (although it's difficult to decipher Government-speak).


David Clough (Empty Homes Team Manager - Cornwall Council)

Also the nubers are up in our area due to the difficulty in getting lettings completed. This will affect the NHB data as the nubers are temporarily inflated with empties between 6 months and 9 months. They are starting to go down again now.

Helen M Rhodes

Well it appears that the long expected changes are going to be made.  See link to Consultation https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-of-the-new-homes-bonus-consultation/the-future-of-the-new-homes-bonus-consultation  which closes on 07 April 2021

The bit I wasn't previously aware of was contained in Section 4 about Legacy payments ie "Prior to reforms to the Bonus implemented in 2017/18, to provide a powerful and predictable incentive, each annual in-year reward was paid for six financial years, such that allocations built up incrementally over time as each ‘in-year’ reward continued to be paid in addition to the new reward for that year. These are commonly referred to as legacy payments. The longevity of legacy payments was reduced when the Bonus was reformed in 2017/18. New legacy commitments ceased to be made in allocations from 2020/21 and the government does not intend to reintroduce the concept of legacy payments."

Dave Carter