Help To Buy Scheme Extended

A scheme to help people buy a brand new home will benefit about 6,500 households over the next three years, according to the Scottish Government.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said the £195 million extension to the Help To Buy scheme announced yesterday will focus on affordable housing.

The previous scheme provided £275 million between 2013/14 and 2015/16, with a further £30 million available through a separate initiative for small developers.

It is expected to help 7,500 people buy a property but demand for the main scheme has outstripped supply.

In May it was announced that the 2015/16 pot of £100 million had almost run out with more than 10 months of the financial year remaining.

Under the new initiative, eligible buyers will receive an equity loan towards the cost of a new-build home.

Mr Neil said support for small developers would also continue but further details are not expected until after the UK Government's spending review in November.

He said: ''By targeting resources at affordable homes, the new scheme will widen access by providing a helping hand to individuals and families who wish to buy a new-build home.

''By the end of this new scheme, coupled with support through the current Help to Buy scheme, we will have helped around 14,000 households buy a new-build home.

''We will also reach our five-year plan of 30,000 affordable homes by March 2016 and our planned investment in affordable housing will exceed £1.7 billion.

''This considerable investment means that through Help to Buy and its successor, the Scottish Government will have invested around half a billion pounds over six years, providing the private sector and construction industry with a huge boost.''

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