Government Help to Buy housing scheme slammed for ‘funding high earners’
The Government’s flagship Help to Buy housing initiative is facing criticism as new figures reveal it is funding buyers on increasingly high incomes.
According to official figures the average annual household income of those using the taxpayer-funded scheme is £50,000, while in the London the figure is even higher, at £72,000.
That is up from around £40,000 in 2013 when Help to Buy was first introduced – a rise of 35%.
The revelations raise fresh questions over the scheme, which has cost the Government billions in cash loans to aspiring homeowners, enabling them to purchase properties with just a 5% deposit.
Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey told the Independent: “With the number of younger people who own a first home in free fall, government ministers need to be doing much more to help people on ordinary incomes buy a first home of their own.
“Deep cuts to housing investment mean that the number of new low-cost homes to buy like shared ownership have halved since 2010, and badly targeted schemes like Help to Buy aren’t focused on those who most need a hand up.
“Labour would refocus Help to Buy to help first-time buyers on ordinary incomes.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government responded: “Our Help to Buy scheme has assisted over 440,000 people buy a home of their own since 2010, with a majority of households having an income of £50,000 or less.
“Help to Buy is getting people onto the housing ladder and last year we saw the highest number of first time buyers in over a decade.”