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Government measures tackle housing affordability

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by Gill Montia

A government green paper published earlier this week includes a number of measures aimed at tackling housing affordability and providing more first-time buyers with shared ownership schemes.

The wide-ranging proposals include plans to expand shared ownership through the New Build HomeBuy scheme.

Also to be extended is the Open Market HomeBuy scheme, which is focused on helping key public workers, such as those in the emergency services and health workers.

Currently the scheme expects key workers looking to buy a home to fund 75% of the purchase; the balance is made up from two equity loans, one from the government and the other from one of four mortgage lenders.

Under the new proposals, the government will provide an equity loan of 17.5% of the purchase price, and will also extend the scheme to include all mortgage lenders.

Gordon Brown, who became Prime Minister less than a month ago, has made it a priority to tackle the UK’s growing housing shortage and his government has pledged an investment of £8 billion pounds over the next three years, to increase the supply of affordable housing.

This represents at £3 billion increase on previous budgets and should deliver at least 180,000 affordable homes by 2010.

Homes provided by social housing organisations are also set to increase by at least 45,000 new social homes a year, by 2010/11.

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News posted: July 26, 2007

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