Friday, 01 May 2009 12:36
  The Welsh shadow minister for housing spoke out about problems facing first time buyers at a special event held in Wrexham at the weekend.Welsh Conservative AM Mark Isherwood was asked to speak on the Welsh Assembly’s Affordable Housing Strategy, funding available and how it will develop, commenting on Homebuy, the Welsh Government’s low cost home ownership scheme, at the First Time Buyers Event at Glyndwr University’s Conference Centre on Saturday.Mr Isherwood told an audience of estate agents, house builders, housing associations, surveyors, solicitors and mortgage advisors that because of delays by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) in publishing final guidance on a new scheme, those already struggling to get on the property ladder are having a tougher time.

 “WAG launched a consultation on guideline

s to enable social housing grant funded DIY Homebuy to be included in the Social Housing Grant Programme from April 2009/2010,” he said. “This seeks to assist people who can’t afford to buy on the open market to do so and therefore help meet the needs for affordable housing, targeted at first time buyers or those re-entering the property market that are in the same financial position as first time buyers.“However the Welsh Government have still not published final guidance on the new scheme, instead still promising it will be published early in the new financial year.“Yet in a letter published by the Deputy Minister for Housing it states: “The social housing grant programme has already been allocated for 2009/10. Any Local Authority wishing to reintroduce DIY Homebuy will therefore need to make space within the existing social housing grant programme by reallocating other activities.”Mr Isherwood said: “In other words, no new money this year, no provision for new build low cost home ownership and no acknowledgement that it’s too late for local authorities to change housing plans to which they are already committed.“Housing Associations have had the opportunity to undertake Homebuy on new build schemes from their own resources, but at a time of recession and credit crunch their scope to do this is very limited.”

 " During the first 2 Assembly terms, the number of households helped to acquire homes via Homebuy fell by two-thirds.Now everything is held up by review and consultation ."


Promoted by Mark Isherwood AM at National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

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