Government announces FTB scheme

Ramesh Sharma

April 1, 2006

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and the Treasury have launched a joint shared equity taskforce to look at the opportunities of working with private sector organisations to add to the shared equity market. It is hoped the scheme will allow a greater number of people to benefit from shared equity schemes, by increasing the number of intermediary households available to ‘key workers.’

The shared equity taskforce will also be responsible for initiating ‘Homebuy agents’ covering every region in the country. These will provide FTBs with advice on how the Homebuy scheme could help them by buying a part-share in property, with the additional costs met by lenders and social landlords.

Announcing the scheme, Housing Minister Yvette Cooper, said: “These are practical steps to help families get a first foot on the housing ladder – the extra investment in the Budget, one-stop-shops to give people tailored support and now a new taskforce to realise the benefits of shared ownership for many more people demonstrates this government’s commitment to support the aspirations of first-time buyers.”

However, Richard Sexton, director of business development at e.surv, commented: “The changes that the government is planning for the Homebuy scheme won’t be short-term, and the only thing that might speed up the process is the prospect of elections. The government will not want to be embarrassed, but seem to be focusing a lot on Home Information Packs. It needs to be careful not to juggle too many issues at once.”

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