HC Deb 01 April 1981 vol 2 cc125-6W
42. Mr. Best

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what measures he has taken so far to help home purchasers on low incomes to obtain mortgage finance.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

We have given local authorities a new power to guarantee building society loans, which should encourage lending to those with modest incomes. We have commended the growth of "homesteading" schemes whereby local authorities sell unimproved houses for improvement by the purchaser with the aid of grant and, subject to my right hon. Friend's consent, with waived mortgage interest under new powers provided in the Housing Act 1980. Although they may prefer to obtain a private loan, qualifying council tenants who wish to buy their homes under the right-to-buy provisions have been given an automatic right to a local authority mortgage. We have also removed legal impediments to shared ownership schemes, the arrangements for which have been simplified by the issue to local authorities of model schemes and model clauses for shared ownership leases agreed by the Building Societies Association.