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Expanded Open Market HomeBuy Scheme

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the budget is for the Expanded Open Market HomeBuy scheme in each region for each of the next five years; and how many people have (a) completed purchase of a house through the scheme and (b) attended (i) a financial interview with a financial adviser and (ii) presentations as compulsory elements of the application process for the scheme in each month since its launch. (107347)

The Expanded Open Market HomeBuy scheme was launched on 2 October 2006. The following table sets out the current budget for the Expanded Open Market HomeBuy scheme in each region between October 2006 and March 2008.

£ million

Region

Expanded Open Market HomeBuy (funding allocation, October 2006 to March 2008)

East Midlands

3.0

West Midlands

4.6

East of England

26.3

South East

73.1

London

107.0

South West

7.1

Yorkshire and Humber

2.0

North East

0.7

North West

6.3

Total

230

Funding for the scheme beyond March 2008 to 2011 will be decided following the next spending review.

The scheme was launched at the beginning of October so only limited figures are available. 4,000 households have been accepted by HomeBuy agents on to the scheme already since it was launched just 10 weeks ago and are now looking for properties or beginning the process of buying a home. The first 42 households have been approved to exchange on their property and the first five households have completed their sales just 10 weeks after the programme was launched. We expect to help up to 10,000 households through the scheme by the end of March 2008.

We do not hold information centrally on the number of applicants who have attended a presentation and/or an interview with a financial adviser to undergo a financial assessment as part of the application process.

All applicants to the Expanded Open Market HomeBuy scheme will receive information on the low cost home ownership options available to them, and undergo a financial assessment—along with other eligibility checks—before being accepted on to the scheme, but different HomeBuy agents will fulfil these functions in different ways depending on local circumstances, and the scale of delivery in their area.

Those HomeBuy agents handling large number of applications tend to ask applicants to first attend a presentation on low cost home ownership opportunities in their area, before they visit a financial adviser to undergo the financial check. Those operating on a smaller scale tend to direct applicants to their website for further information, and conduct financial checks in-house.

Once applicants are accepted on to the scheme, they are strongly recommended to visit a financial adviser of their choosing, before making the decision to proceed with a purchase