Homebuy Scheme

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 30th April 2007.

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Photo of Eric Pickles Eric Pickles Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government), Deputy Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether tenants purchasing an equity stake in a property under the Social HomeBuy scheme are responsible for the entire maintenance costs of the property.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Minister of State (Department of Communities and Local Government) (Housing and Planning)

Housing association and local authority tenants purchasing a share in their rented home at a discount under the Social HomeBuy pilot scheme assume financial responsibility for all maintenance costs. The Government are currently exploring different options for tenants purchasing small shares.

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fragilemind C
Posted on 1 May 2007 11:53 am (Report this annotation)

The entire system on buying your own home and shares in your house is ludicrous.
The housing i am with will not let me buy the house I have lived in for 10 years and been with that housing for 22 years. They said i could buy shares in it up to 50% but i will still have to pay half the rent and maintain the house repairs. They were encouraging me to buy shares in my house. They also gave me the option to buy one of their other properties in areas that are really bad with high crime rates. Why would i want to buy a house in a really bad area when i want the house i live in and like living in but not allowed to buy it? I think it is wrong that to purchase half a house that i will never in fact own and then pay all the costs of the house repairs.
It is not a new house and it took the housing 2 years to repair a downstairs main window that had a 3 inch gap and couldnt be closed after a shoddy workman they sent left it like that. In recent months my house has had major leaks from old pipework, old heating and my insurance have paid out 3 times for damage to carpets and goods from flooding because the housing refused to help out. Recently half the hallway wall fell down and ruined a brand new carpet my insurance had just put down after the original flood. That has made my insurance go right up and aparently the costs of the repairs came to many thousands of pounds. It still has outstanding repairs from 4 years ago. Had i of purchased half this house, i would of had to find thousands of pounds to get the repairs done on top of paying half the rent. The housing would be laughing, id be in severe debt and probably end up on the streets, they would of got a maintained property and gained financially at my expense. My rent is much higher than the council properties of the same size and i live in eric pickles area. I think the entire system needs rethinking so that tenants have more rights on the purchasing of the house they live in as its their home and to abolish the system of shares in a house unless the tenant can further purchase the entire house at a later date and work towards owning it in full at the end of the day. My housing have told me this can never be an option for me because the house was aparently remortgaged by the housing. I am confused as to the information they give me now. It changes every time i get a new housing officer and not one seems to be able to give accurate information to the point i have now given up asking. Perhaps the housings should foot the maintainance costs based on the % they own in shares. If they own 3/4 of the house shares then they should pay 3/4 of repairs. Why should any tenant if for example they only owned 25% shares in a house have to pay 100% costs for the maintainance and pay 3/4 of the rent on top? Its wrong and ill thought out. I know several people who have been severely caught out in this unfair scheme. I havent yet found one person whom has benefited from this scheme.