NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
The United Kingdom Department of Communities and Local Government have responded to our recent query about the crisis over affordable housing in Cornwall. A copy of the full text of their response is set out below:
“12th August 2015
Dear Mr J Moffatt
Thank you for your letter of 17 July to the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government regarding affordable housing. I am replying as the Minister for Housing and Planning.
Affordable housing has always been a priority for the Government. Everyone needs the security and stability of a decent, affordable home. Through the 2011-15 Affordable Homes Programme the Government had invested £4.5 billion in delivering new affordable homes – Management information shows that we exceeded the target for the 2011-15 Affordable Homes Programme of 170,000 new affordable homes. We will ensure 275,000 new affordable homes are provided between 2015 and 2020.
Increasing home ownership is a key priority for this Government. Our ambition is to build 200,000 Starter Homes by 2020, to be offered exclusively for young first time buyers at a 20% discount on the open market value. This is on top of the Help to Buy schemes to help hardworking people with sufficient earnings to fulfil the aspiration of owning their own home.
Shared ownership is another government scheme that helps support people’s aspirations to own their own home. People on low income are able to buy a share of their home (from 25% to 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining share; with the ability to buy further shares in minimum 10% instalments. Another scheme in development, to help people save for a mortgage, is the Help to Buy ISA. This will provide a 25% bonus on a final savings balance to contribute to a first home, including the purchase of a Help to Buy home – Government will contribute £50 for every £200 per month or 25% of the amount saved, up to a maximum of £3000. This is due to launch in autumn 2015.
We are also looking at innovative approaches for Government investment in affordable housing. Our new ‘Rent to Buy’ model will deliver affordable homes at good value for money to Government while supporting aspiring tenants into home ownership.
There is much to do to tackle the national shortage of housing, but I believe we have a comprehensive plan to address it. With our innovative measures and programmes, and the range of products that meet a range of housing needs, we will continue to deliver our promise to build more affordable homes that people need.
BRANDON LEWIS MP”
Related link here on CL News (please note the letter indicates it was dispatched to Eric Pickles, the former Minister, but it was corrected prior to dispatch):
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
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