HC Deb 31 July 1974 vol 878 c324W
Mr. Michael Latham

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what was the cost to public funds of the option mortgage scheme in each year since its inception;

(2) what is the total number of option mortgages outstanding; how many were entered into in 1973; and what proportion they represent of (a) mortgages outstanding and (b) mortgages granted in 1973.

Mr. Freeson

The amounts of option mortgage subsidy in Great Britain were:

1968–69 6,782,252
1969–70 9,240,020
1970–71 13,025,966
1971–72 17,773,598
1972–73 27,973,130
1973–74 50,378,247

It is estimated that about 620,000 option mortgages had been taken out up to 31st March 1974, but some may have been terminated. Of this number about 125,000 were taken out in 1973. This figure represents 20 per cent. of all option mortgages taken out since the scheme began in 1968 and also about 20 per cent. of all mortgages granted in 1973.

Mr. Michael Latham

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how, in view of the unavailability of information about the number of option mortgages which exceed £25,000 or are in respect of new homes, he will be able to discontinue subsidy in respect of them after 5th April 1980.

Mr. Freeson

The Housing Bill provides for regulations to be made in connection with the discontinuing of subsidy to those option mortgagors who, under the limitations contained in the Bill in respect of large loans and loans on "second homes", will not be entitled to subsidy after 5th April 1980. It is intended that these regulations would place a duty on the borrowers concerned to notify the lenders before 5th April 1980 if their mortgages are ineligible for subsidy under these limitations.

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