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Volume 19: debated on Friday 12 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has now considered the response to his Department's consultation paper "Low Start Mortgages for House Purchase"; and if he will make a statement.

Most replies have now been received. Generally, the reponse has indicated that there is no requirement for a single nationally approved scheme for low start mortgages. I accept this view and do not propose to amend or update the scheme devised by my Department and the Building Societies Association in 1975.However, I welcome the response by the BSA that if a demand for low start mortgages should develop then building societies will offer such loans within the existing annuity mortgage framework. Low start mortgages are only one amongst several means of helping first-time home buyers that we now have available. For example, shared ownership schemes and deferred purchase schemes which are both already operating enable first-time home buyers with relatively small incomes to cross over from renting into home ownership.