The MyChoice HomeBuy product was introduced, along with OwnHome (a similar product from different providers) at the beginning of the 2008 to 2011 National Affordable Housing programme, after a competition for new shared equity products. Both MyChoice HomeBuy and OwnHome are open market HomeBuy products. The likely level of demand for open market HomeBuy in the 2008 to 2011 programme was assessed with regard to the levels of demand for previous open market homebuy products.
We do not set specific budgets for HomeBuy products in advance, to allow flexibility within the Affordable Housing programme. The cost of any of the schemes is reviewed on a regular basis within the context of the overall programme. In managing the programme, the Government seek to strike the right balance between this scheme and other programmes such as the provision of new homes and properties for social rent.
We do not set a specific budget for the MyChoice HomeBuy product in advance, to allow flexibility within the Affordable Housing Programme. However, the HCA made up to £133 million available to MyChoice HomeBuy providers in 2008-09 of which provisional figures show that £115 million was spent by 31 March 2009. Funding for the scheme is reviewed on a regular basis within the context of the overall programme.
The HCA subsequently made £17 million available in 2009-10 to fund MyChoice HomeBuy purchases for those applicants who had been issued with authority to proceed prior to the end of the 2008-09 financial year but had not completed their purchase.
Applicants can, and usually do, apply for several HomeBuy schemes, not just MyChoice HomeBuy. A total of 53,919 applications were received for MyChoice HomeBuy, in the period from April 2008—when the scheme was launched—to the end of April 2009. During that time period, 29,148 applicants in total were approved to look for a property. Information on applications declined is not collected centrally.