GOVERNMENT CAN DO MORE TO “HELP TO BUY”

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, will continue to press Government Ministers to do more to help young families and couples on to the first rung of the housing ladder with their ‘Help to Buy’ scheme. He argues that, “as presently designed the Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme will have precious little benefit in areas like West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly”.

Mr George said, “The Government can help in two crucial ways. Firstly, I have been encouraging Ministers to use Government assistance to help with the strategy of constructing a new lower rung on the housing ladder by producing more shared equity, shared ownership and other ‘intermediate market’ affordable homes which are within the reach of people on local incomes in places like West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. As presently designed, the Government’s plan may well help many already well off couples to buy their first or second home but won’t necessarily help those in desperate housing need.

“Secondly, whilst West Cornwall benefits from a much higher than average entrepreneurial spirit those who are prepared to take a business punt find that lenders are not prepared to take a punt to help them meet their housing needs, even where their annual outturns show that they’re profitable. But the Government won’t help this group of would be home owners either!

“Lenders are putting so many obstacles and conditions around their lending for shared equity homes that this part of the market is struggling to get off the ground at all, and yet it provides the best available chance for many local young couples and families seeking to get their first toehold on the property owning ladder. Extending the Government’s guarantee and support to the intermediate market would make a world of difference in places like Cornwall and Scilly and encourage the building of hundreds of much needed homes to meet a desperate local need.

“Helping small business men and women get support with their house buying would have a big impact in areas likes ours.”