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Housing: Shared Ownership

Volume 689: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assistance is available to people wishing to buy homes on the basis of shared ownership.[HL1438]

The Government expect more than 160,000 households to access home ownership through private or public shared equity schemes by 2010—doubling original plans.

There are currently three shared equity ownership products:

Open Market HomeBuy—allows the purchaser to choose a home on the open market, which they purchase with the help of an equity loan, alongside a conventional mortgage. Half of the equity loan is provided by their mortgage provider and half by Government. Both equity loans are free from all charges for the first five years;

New Build HomeBuy (including the first time buyers initiative)—helps the purchaser to buy a share in a new build property, while paying rent on the unowned share; and

Social HomeBuy—enabling local authority and housing association tenants to buy a share in the property in which they currently live, starting at 25 per cent.

New Build and Open Market HomeBuy are open to social tenants, those on housing waiting lists, key workers, and other first time buyers identified as priorities by regional housing boards (RHBs).

Since October 2006, four mortgage lenders (Halifax, Nationwide and Yorkshire Building Societies and Advantage) have jointly funded equity loans for Open Market HomeBuy. This will enable government funding to help twice as many households.

Across the country, 23 new “HomeBuy Agents” are providing a one-stop shop on low-cost home ownership opportunities in their area.