Homebuy schemes criticised

Three schemes to help an extra 100,000 lower-income households
get on the housing ladder have been criticised for prioritising
homebuyers over those in genuine housing need, writes
Simeon Brody.

The government’s three new HomeBuy schemes all involve
buyers sharing equity with housing providers, and are expected to
be launched in April 2006.

Social HomeBuy will enable social tenants to buy a share in a
property they currently live in.

New Build HomeBuy will allow key workers, social tenants and
those identified as a priority by regional housing boards to buy a
share in a newly-built property.

Open Market HomeBuy enables the same groups, in London, the
South East and Eastern regions, to buy a property on the open
market with the help of an equity loan.

But housing charity Shelter said the “relentless
drive” towards home ownership was happening at the expense of
building new social housing.

Director Adam Sampson said: “We must prioritise the needs
of those who suffer in the worst and most insecure housing over the
aspirations of those who want to own their own home.”

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