HC Deb 11 November 1992 vol 213 cc869-70
8. Mr. Congdon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has for improving opportunities for home ownership for those living in flats.

Sir George Young

The Housing and Urban Development Bill will give most long leaseholders in flats either the right to purchase collectively the freehold of their blocks or the right to an extended lease. It will also enable secure tenants to buy their homes on rent-to-mortgage terms.

Mr. Congdon

I welcome the measures on leasehold enfranchisement and the rent-to-mortgage scheme, but will my hon. Friend consider further measures to encourage local authorities that have been very reluctant to do so to sell more flats?

Sir George Young

The Government are anxious to continue to diversify tenure on local authority estates, particularly local authority flats. The rent-to-mortgage scheme, which comes under the Bill to which I referred, will offer a new low-risk route into home ownership with a minimum increase in outgoings. That will be attractive to many people who live in flats. As interest rates come down, the right-to-buy option becomes equally attractive. I hope that we shall be able to make further progress in diversifying tenure on local authority estates.

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