Andrew George Westminster Hall Debate

Posted on: 16th December 2014

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, has secured a debate to encourage the Government to extend its policy and support for those in housing need.

Mr George, who used to work in the charitable housing sector before he was elected, says that the Government needs to construct a new lower rung on the housing ladder which local families in some of the most high-priced housing areas can actually afford.

He says that, although the Government’s “Help to Buy” scheme offers help to those who might have been able to get into the housing market anyway, this support should be extended to those purchasing “intermediate housing” homes, such as shared ownership properties.

Mr George’s Westminster Hall Debate Speech as follows:-


Westminster Hall Debate – HM Treasury Assistance for People in Housing Need

Andrew George

11am Wednesday 17th December 2014


“There is a significant mismatch in earnings levels and house prices in many parts of the United Kingdom, especially in the south.  In some areas – like my West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency – this has characterised the challenges of local families and the housing market for decades. If anything, the problem of the mismatch is getting worse over time.

Shared ownership and other intermediate housing solutions are the most obvious root to solving the housing problems of those on low and middle incomes yet it remains on the margins.

The purpose of this debate is to review some of the Government’s policies to both stimulate housing supply and extend opportunities for home ownership, and suggest some new policies which would give the Government a greater role in supporting the intermediate market.  There are many Government policies to support outright home ownership through the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, the Affordable Homes Programme, the Affordable Homes Guarantee Programme, the New Homes Bonus and other initiatives.  But there is very little to support the intermediate market itself.

I will propose that the Government extends its help to those seeking a decent and affordable home of their own by either extending the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme or creating a new intermediate housing fund (IHF), which will act as an affordable homes investment bank, to stand behind housing associations and those lenders who provide the finance for those purchasing a share of a property as part of a shared ownership scheme or similar.

It appears crucial, for those who currently cannot afford to enter the housing market but who hold a professional job or a job with decent prospects and salary, that a new lower rung is constructed on the housing ladder through the creation of intermediate market homes.  Lenders will have more confidence to provide finance to occupants of these properties if the Government stands behind them.”