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Housing: Low Incomes

Volume 459: debated on Friday 20 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost of providing new houses for key workers by (a) purchase assistance, (b) purchase from housing associations and (c) construction of (i) social housing and (ii) council housing. (119833)

The Government offer specific housing assistance to key workers in areas experiencing problems of recruitment and retention difficulties under the key worker living (KWL) scheme. The scheme operates in London, the south east and east of England. Key worker living funding is divided between Open Market HomeBuy (equity loans to purchase properties on the open market) and new build products such as New Build HomeBuy (shared ownership of newly built homes) and intermediate rent (where the rent is set at a level between that charged by social and private landlords).

On 2 October 2006 Open Market HomeBuy was re-launched in partnership with four mortgage lenders. Half of the equity loan is provided by Government and half by the mortgage lender. This reduces the level of public sector subsidy required making it possible to help more people into different forms of shared ownership. The average grant per unit for key worker Open Market HomeBuy completions in the current financial year prior to the re-launch of the product was £39,687. Currently the average grant rate per unit for key workers that have purchased under the new Expanded Open Market HomeBuy product is £26,762.

The estimated average grant per unit for New Build HomeBuy properties in the three key worker living regions under the national affordable housing programme for 2006-2008 is £34,623.

We do not collect data on key worker access to social rented properties. The average cost of providing a social rented unit nationally was £133,941 of which £62,000 was the average public subsidy in the form of grant. Statistics are not collected on the construction costs specifically of new council housing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to bring forward proposals to establish a common definition of community land trust in statute law. (127160)

The Department is currently examining what further action may be required to facilitate development of the community land trust model.