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MP questions Prime Minister

March 7, 2006 12:00 AM

More local people could afford to buy a house in South Lakeland if the Prime Minister agrees to a request by MP Tim Farron at Prime Minister's Questions tomorrow (Wednesday). Tim has been drawn first in the line-up for PMQs.

Recently released statistics reveal that homelessness in South Lakeland has risen by 85% in the last year, and that average house prices in the area are now fifteen times greater than average local incomes.

Tim's question to the Prime Minister will focus on the threat to shared equity schemes, which allow someone to buy half a house, with the other half remaining in the ownership of a housing association or developer. These schemes enable more people to be able to afford a decent place to live locally.

Tim will ask the Prime Minister to change the rules to remove the current compulsion to have a 'buy-out' clause in shared equity contracts. This clause means that shared equity schemes do not meet the 'affordability' criteria which all new building in the national parks, and 50% of new building in the rest of South Lakeland, has to meet.

Tim said: "With homelessness rising by 85%, and average house prices hitting 15 times average incomes we must use every affordable housing tool available. It is vital that the rules on shared equity schemes are changed so that we can offer more local people a chance to afford a place to live."