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Shared Ownership Schemes

Volume 526: debated on Monday 4 April 2011

23. What steps his Department is taking to increase the flexibility of access to shared ownership schemes for first-time buyers. (50363)

The Government are committed to supporting those who aspire to own their own homes. As announced in the Budget, we are introducing the Firstbuy equity loan scheme, and the Homes and Communities Agency’s affordable housing programme in 2011 to 2015 will include affordable home ownership where appropriate in local circumstances.

I very much welcome that additional flexibility. Some of my constituents have said that they find existing schemes to be a bit over-bureaucratic, particularly as regards the relationship between where people live and where they work. I hope the Minister will look to new schemes to reduce the hurdles that face first-time buyers.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to point out that the bureaucratic burdens have become a complete nightmare. When the Labour party eventually gets to the point of reflecting on why it was booted out of power, it will realise that one reason was that the level of bureaucracy—the top-down diktats and the impossible paperwork before anyone could do almost anything in this country, particularly build homes—led to fewer homes being built than at any time post-war.