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Housing: Low Incomes

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 12 September 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what minimum equity stake must be purchased under the (a) Social Homebuy, (b) New Build Homebuy and (c) Open Market Homebuy schemes; and what plans her Department has to amend the level of these stakes. (153496)

The minimum equity stake which can be purchased under (a) Social Homebuy and (b)New Build Homebuy is 25 per cent.

Under (c) purchasers buy a property outright supported by an equity loan for up to 25 per cent. of the property's value.

In June of this year the Housing Corporation launched a competition for private investors to join the 2008-11 round of Open Market Homebuy, and they have received initial expressions of interest. Proposals include products which allow buyers to purchase as little as 50 per cent. of a home chosen on the open market.

We also want to offer more social tenants the opportunity to buy a share in their home and will be considering whether we should offer smaller shares to improve affordability. We will announce proposals later this year as part of our response to John Hills' review of social housing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many foreign nationals were granted a social housing tenancy in each of the last 10 years. (155002)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: Information on social dwellings owned by (a) local councils and (b) registered social landlords which are allocated to non-British citizens is collected in the Continuous Recording of Lettings form (CORE). These data are collected on behalf of Communities and Local Government and the Housing Corporation by the Centre for Housing Research at the University of St. Andrews. A question was added for the 2006-07 collection period to obtain information on the nationality of the tenant.

Using CORE data, the Department has estimated around 5 per cent. of general needs lettings made to new social housing tenants between April and December 2006 were to foreign nationals. We estimate this was equivalent to around 10,000 general needs lettings to new social housing tenants in 2005-06 being made to foreign nationals.