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Affordable Housing

Some 9,000 families on over £100k have used the Help to Buy scheme to get on the housing ladder

Thousands of wealthy families have received taxpayer loans to help them on to the housing ladder, official figures show.

The Help to Buy scheme, set up to support struggling first-time buyers, has now been used by 92,077 families with incomes of more than £50,000 a year.

Of these, 8,891 had incomes in excess of £100,000.

The Help to Buy scheme – set up to support struggling first-time buyers – has now been used by 92,077 families with incomes of more than £50,000 a year

And of 210,964 households to use the scheme since its launch in 2013, almost one fifth were not first-time buyers, with many of them using support from the taxpayer to purchase a bigger home.

The scheme, the brainchild of former Chancellor George Osborne, lends taxpayers’ money to families buying new-build homes. But it has been blamed for pushing up prices and fattening developers’ profits.

Persimmon last year became the first British housebuilder to make profits of more than £1billion as it cashed in on the scheme.

Heavy criticism prompted ministers to overhaul the rules from 2021 when it will be restricted to first-time buyers only.

Matt Kilcoyne, of the Adam Smith Institute, said: ‘The scale and amounts are stunning.

The housing crisis is caused by the lack of homes in the right places. The £11.7billion spent has done nothing to increase the number of houses, it has just pushed up prices even higher.’

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Greg Beales, director of campaigns at housing charity Shelter, said: ‘Help to Buy has made things worse for many would-be buyers by inflating house prices.

‘The Government should call time on this country’s housing crisis by investing in a new generation of social housing.’

The average price of properties bought was £258,223, with the average loan at £55,498.

Three of Britain’s biggest builders – Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon – raked in more than £2.7billion in profits last year off the back of the scheme.

Persimmon sold nearly half of its homes that year through Help to Buy and paid former chief executive Jeff Fairburn £85million in just two years.

However ministers have been considering changes to Help to Buy after an outcry.

Last month James Brokenshire, the Housing Secretary, warned developers they must stop ‘unacceptable’ practices and end problems with build quality.

A Government spokesman said yesterday: ‘Last year saw the highest number of first-time buyers in more than a decade and now we know that Help to Buy equity loans helped more of them than ever before to own their homes.’

Source: By Matt Oliver, DailyMail

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