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Housing: Sales

Volume 471: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the administration budget was for (a) Social HomeBuy, (b) New Build HomeBuy, (c) Open Market HomeBuy and (d) the First Time Buyers Initiative in each of the last five years; (170353)

(2) what the marketing budget was for (a) Social HomeBuy, (b) New Build HomeBuy, (c) Open Market HomeBuy and (d) the First Time Buyers Initiative in each of the last five years.

The HomeBuy schemes, including the First Time Buyers Initiative, commenced on 1 April 2006. Funding arrangements for the marketing and administration costs vary depending on the HomeBuy product and are not separately identifiable.

The network of 23 HomeBuy agents provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for HomeBuy applicants and handle the application process for (c) open market HomeBuy and (b) new build HomeBuy, including (d) the First Time Buyers Initiative. HomeBuy agents are responsible for raising general awareness of the various low cost home ownership products and make use of appropriate marketing techniques to achieve this.

HomeBuy agents are contracted to market and administer the open market HomeBuy programme, but not for the marketing of individual homes, which are purchased on the open market. For each open market HomeBuy completion, an allowance is paid to the HomeBuy agents, to cover administration and marketing costs. From April 2007, this allowance has been £3,300 per completion. The same completion fee is also funded by English Partnerships to HomeBuy agents for homes sold under the First Time Buyers Initiative.

There is no separate administration budget for new build HomeBuy: housing associations bidding for new build HomeBuy projects factor in these costs as part of their total scheme costs when bidding to the Housing Corporation for a proportion of the total costs to be funded by social housing grant.

Housing association and local authority landlords participating in (a) the pilot social HomeBuy scheme meet the costs of marketing and administration from the sale proceeds.

For new build HomeBuy and social HomeBuy, housing associations deduct an administrative allowance to cover their legal and administration costs from the sales receipt on completion of sale, or on the sale of further shares. Details of the administrative allowances are set out in the following table.

Property disposal deductible administrative allowances


Sale of further shares (houses and flats)


Social HomeBuy initial sale (house)


Social HomeBuy initial sale (flat)


The administration costs incurred by English Partnerships, the Housing Corporation and Communities and Local Government for the HomeBuy and First Time Buyers Initiative form part of the overall costs for the policy and delivery of affordable housing.