Francis Maude: Getting Britain building again

Horsham MP Francis Maude
Horsham MP Francis Maude

I was very glad to see new figures released last week showing that Help to Buy, the Conservative scheme to help people access an affordable mortgage with a small deposit, has now helped almost 500 families to buy their own home in Horsham and Mid Sussex.

Across the country, Help to Buy has now enabled nearly 90,000 families to buy their own homes, with over 80 per cent of sales going to first-time buyers as intended.

This came in the same week the Prime Minister committed the next Conservative Government to delivering 200,000 new Starter Homes by 2020 – good quality homes that will be sold at 20 per cent below the market price reserved for first-time buyers only under the age of 40.

Many of us have felt that our children may be the first generation to be less well off financially than their parents, paying for the nation’s debts and pensions, and we are reversing this trend as youth employment rises. This is all part of our long-term economic plan - getting Britain building again. House building is now at its highest level since 2007, in itself not a universally welcomed idea, I grant, but enabling more people to get on in life and find a home of their own.

Everyone who works hard should be able to have a home of their own, but when we came to office too many people couldn’t afford the huge deposit they needed to get on the housing ladder.

We weren’t prepared to let that continue, which is why we launched Help to Buy so people could get an affordable mortgage with only a five per cent deposit.

There are three main ways of doing this in England:

Equity Loans. Under this scheme the Government provides an equity loan of up to 20 per cent, so people only need to provide a five per cent cash deposit and can apply for a 75 per cent mortgage. This only applies to newly built homes.

Mortgage Guarantee. Under this scheme the Government guarantees the mortgages of participants who can afford repayments, but who do not have a large deposit.

This means lenders can have the confidence to provide sustainable 95 per cent mortgages. It can be used for both newly built and older homes.

NewBuy Guarantee scheme helps people to buy a new build home or flat with only a five per cent deposit by allowing them to secure a 95 per cent mortgage.

Every additional family that is able to get on the housing ladder is one more family able to enjoy the security and peace of mind that comes from owning your own home.