Scheme to assist first-time buyers

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EXTRA help totalling £400 million from The Government for first time buyers has been welcomed by the South Yorkshire agency which helps people take advantage of shared ownership schemes.

The Government’s plans for buyers to get onto the property ladder include a ‘new-build indemnity scheme’ that will help up to 100,000 prospective purchasers by underwriting mortgages.

Under the proposals, homebuyers will be able to obtain loans on new-build homes with only a five per cent deposit. And up to £4 million of the cash could be available in South Yorkshire.

Matthew Harrison, deputy chief executive of Plumlife, which provides shared ownership to first- time buyers in South Yorkshire, said: “Large deposits required to buy average homes are beyond the reach of far too many.

“We’re waiting on the fine details of how this new initiative will work, and we don’t yet know how many developers locally will be awarded funding, but in principle we’re pleased the Government is taking positive steps to help first time buyers.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told The Star the new policy is a ‘hugely ambitious plan to kickstart house building and get the economy going’.

He said: “I’m sure it will boost housing across Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

“But more than that, the coalition’s housing strategy will help first time buyers, make social housing fairer, and help end the scandal of empty homes.

“These are things the Liberal Democrats have campaigned on for years and we are now delivering them in Government.”

Mr Clegg said it was too early to say exactly how much of the funding will be used to help house buyers in Sheffield.

But Labour-run Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for housing, Coun Harry Harpham, said: “The announcement has to be viewed in the light of the fact that last year the coalition cut £4 billion from housing investment.”