Tens of thousands of first-time buyers are set to benefit from a £26m windfall for affordable homes.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark announced the cash boost as he visited Manchester. It is part of the government’s national Starter Homes initiative.

The cash will support architects, councils, housing associations and developers in creating a new range of homes aimed at first-time buyers.

It will be used to acquire brownfield sites for new houses, with cash from the sales of these sites going back to the public purse.

The government is a providing an additional £10m for local councils to prepare more brownfield sites for development.

It is part of the government’s pledge to build 200,000 starter homes by 2020.

Mr Clark was visiting The Point at New Islington and Louisa Street in Openshaw to see how developers are using new designs to attract young buyers.

Greg Clark said: “This competitive fund will build homes that will clearly show the wide range of new properties that will be available to first-time buyers as they take their first step on the housing ladder.

“We are also helping bring back into use more brownfield land for development – keeping the country building and delivering the homes our communities need.”

The government says house building is a key part of its long-term economic plan, with almost 800,000 extra homes already delivered since the end of 2009.

It says its new Housing Bill and proposed national planning policy changes will ensure hundreds of thousands of starter homes will be built.

It plans to bring forward proposals to ensure that every reasonably-sized housing site includes a proportion of starter homes.

Starter homes will be offered exclusively to first-time buyers aged under 40 with a discount of 20 per cent on market values.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Helping young people achieve their dream of home ownership is a real priority for this government. We’ve already helped more than 100,000 households buy a home through our ground-breaking Help to Buy scheme and Starter Homes are another game-changer.

“This fund will help kick-start that change and show young people across the country the quality they can expect when they buy a starter home.”

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