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Schemes To Help First-time Buyers Scrapped

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Schemes to help first-time buyers scrapped

Ministers have quietly scrapped two of the most popular schemes aimed at helping first-time buyers on to the housing ladder.

The government invested £200m ($324m) through MyChoiceHomeBuy and Ownhome, known collectively as Open Market HomeBuy, over the past year alone.

MyChoice, which gave access to a loan of up to half of a property’s value, had the highest take-up of any publicly funded home ownership scheme. Richard Stone, of SPF Sherwins, an affordable housing advisory group, said: “MyChoice was without question the most popular scheme, everyone went for it.†Ownhome was a smaller operation run by Places for People, the housing association and The Co-operative Bank.

The Conservatives believe the decision to close the schemes is evidence of financial pressures in the Department for Communities and Local Government as it seeks to divert money into new social housing.

But officials said the move was not related to last week’s announcement of a £1.5bn drive to build 20,000 extra social homes.

That scheme would be paid for partly from surpluses in other departments but also from unspecified “reprioritisation†of money within the department – for example, from cutting an existing budget for the refurbishment of council housing. The department said the two schemes had been terminated because the government wanted the focus on building homes.

“Government funding is still available for first-time buyers and we intend to focus all our efforts on helping people into homes through new-build schemes, which create jobs and homes such as HomeBuy direct and New Build HomeBuy,†he said.

The Tories said cutting the schemes would further confuse applicants who were already overwhelmed by an array of publicly funded schemes. “The government seem to believe that no one will notice if they quietly withdraw support from people desperately trying to buy their own homes,†said Grant Shapps, shadow housing minister. “Ministers would prefer you to be distracted by their headline-grabbing housing announcements.â€

What a shame for those at the top of the ladder. The whole HPI machine has been effectively hobbled by lack of credit, rising rates, unemployment, and loss of faith. It's pretty hard to pimp an expensive slave box flat to a young couple, especially if they will be able to land a more spacious and better standard next generation council house on the cheap.

Dark days ahead kiddies.

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Can I add though that you do a a FANTASTIC job keeping us all very well informed every day of every week of every month , thanks for all your hard work and it can't be easy when you must exist on so little sleep I know its not easy sleeping with all that cash stuffed in the mattress :)

Edited by Sybil13

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