Private Housing Sector (Support)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 19 June 2013.

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Photo of Mark Griffin Mark Griffin Labour

3. To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to the private housing sector. (S4O-02264)

Photo of Margaret Burgess Margaret Burgess Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is supporting activity in the private housing sector through a range of actions, including our low-cost initiative for first-time buyers—LIFT—shared equity schemes, the National Housing Trust initiative, the housebuilding infrastructure loan fund and our guarantee support for the MI new home mortgage indemnity scheme. In addition, we have announced £120 million of funding over two years to support a significant Scottish new build shared equity scheme, which is part of an overall commitment to invest an additional £290 million in loans and equity support for housing.

Photo of Mark Griffin Mark Griffin Labour

I assume that the Government is aware of the recent Bank of Scotland report on second steppers. What support can the Government offer to second steppers who wish to move on from their first property, potentially to start a family, but who face difficulties in selling their home due to a lack of offers and a reduction in equity caused by a reduction in house prices?

Photo of Margaret Burgess Margaret Burgess Scottish National Party

I am aware of the issues that the member raises and the Scottish Government is looking at ways of assisting second steppers more than we are at present. We hope that the new scheme that we are looking at will be able to assist second steppers. However, they are also assisted through the open market shared equity scheme—when someone buys and moves into a house for the first time, that allows someone else to move on and move up the housing ladder. We are assisting second steppers and that issue will also be considered as part of the £120 million scheme that we are currently working up.