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Starter Homes Initiatives

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what benefits will be received by (a) persons and (b) local authorities in areas covered by the Starter Homes Initiatives; and what criteria determines which (i) authorities and (ii) areas are chosen for that initiative. [99310]

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is providing £250 million for the Starter Home Initiative (SHI) which aims to help around 10,000 key workers to buy their first homes. The assistance is primarily in the form of equity loans or shared ownership and is being administered by local scheme providers, mainly registered social landlords. The funding was allocated via two competitive bidding rounds.In the first round, bids were invited to administer schemes to help key workers in any area where the high cost of housing was undermining recruitment and retention. The main factors taken into account in making allocations were: the relative need for SHI based on house prices, incomes and assessments of recruitment and retention difficulties for key worker groups in different areas; and the cost effectiveness of competing bids.Second round bids were invited to help key workers in specific areas of the south east, eastern, south west and west Midlands regions. These areas were targeted taking into account recruitment and retention problems being experienced across different areas and the allocations made in round 1.