To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he will take to increase the number of shared ownership homes in areas of (a) high housing demand and (b) high housing cost in the north-west. 
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister recognises that shared ownership has an important role to play in areas of high housing demand and cost. As announced in "Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future" on 5 February 2003, we have increased the funds available for housing to around £1.5 billion in 2003–04 through the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme (ADP), providing homes for both rent and low cost home ownership. The funding includes £300 million for the Challenge Fund to tackle issues of high demand areas within London and the wider south-east of England.Within the north-west region, over £9 million from the ADP has been approved for shared ownership schemes in 2003–04. As with all approvals, these are based on the regional priorities set within the regional housing statements jointly produced by the Government Offices and Housing Corporation regional offices in consultation with local partners and stakeholders.From 2004–05, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is strengthening the role of the regions to ensure that housing investment is targeted more effectively on local and regional investment priorities. Regional housing boards will advise on the best use of resources to support identified priorities in regional housing strategies.
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he will take to ensure that shared ownership homes continue to provide low cost ownership options for subsequent owners. 
Some restrictions on a shared owner's ability to purchase 100 per cent. equity in their home already exist in rural areas to ensure that the property remains affordable for local people. In addition, housing associations have discretion in certain circumstances to restrict the purchase of further shares in shared ownership properties provided under the Housing Corporation's Challenge Fund for key workers.Irrespective of any restrictions, the proceeds from the sale of shared ownership properties and the purchase of further shares by shared owners are recycled by housing associations to help others in priority housing need.The Home Ownership Task Force, announced in "Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future" on 5 February 2003, and launched on 18 March 2003, is looking at the schemes currently available to potential homeowners on low or modest incomes and identifying the most effective ways of promoting sustainable homeownership. The task force's terms of reference include shared ownership. Their report is expected in the autumn.