The MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, has pressed Treasury Ministers on the eve of the Spending Review to give local families who seek affordable housing the boost they need.
Although Mr George welcomed the Government’s recently announced Equity Loan Scheme, he pointed out that it provided little support for needy families in constituencies like his.
He asked Treasury Ministers:
“In high house price and low wage areas like mine – where four times more homes are sold to second home buyers than first time buyers – intermediate market solutions like shared ownership and affordable homes with 106 planning restrictions are often the only way for local families to get on the housing ladder, but the Government rules mean that the Equity Loan Scheme cannot help them.
“Will the Government look again at those rules?”
Although Treasury Minister, Sajid Javid MP, pointed out that the Equity Loan Scheme has helped some families already, he did not address the question of a much needed change in the rules to better support areas like West Cornwall.
Mr George intends to follow up his question with further discussions with Government Ministers to seek such a change in the rules.
Mr George said: “It is a new scheme and I know that Government Ministers are keen to monitor its progress. However, a slight change in the rules to include intermediate market solutions would be a major boost not just for local families but for the construction industry as more schemes could be brought forward.”
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