Hampshire MP quizzes minister on forces home ownership

QUESTIONS George Hollingbery MP
QUESTIONS George Hollingbery MP
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MEON Valley MP George Hollingbery has quizzed the government on what is being done about low rates of home ownership among servicemen and women.

The government says it is addressing the problem with an equity loan scheme, previously known as First Buy, to give extra help to military families.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hollingbery said: ‘My constituency is home to a great many members of the armed forces.

‘As is well known, levels of home ownership are below average among this group, not least because credit is difficult to obtain for a whole slew of reasons particular to this profession.

‘Will the minister update the House on the progress made in addressing this problem?’

The Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Kris Hopkins, answered: ‘Every day, a military family is taking up home ownership as a consequence of the government’s intervention.

‘To date, 780 families have taken advantage of First Buy and our home loan equity plan.’

The scheme, initially called First Buy and now known as Help to Buy, was set up in 2011 and made military families a priority in terms of getting extra help with equity loans.

It provides a loan worth up to 20 per cent of the value of a new build property.

Mr Hollingbery added: ‘These schemes show the government has taken this issue seriously.

‘Previously, those who have served their country have had a hard time getting loans to buy homes because, for example, they have been posted abroad and had no credit history in the UK.

‘I urge anyone in the armed forces who wants to have their own home to ensure they get the help they need from these schemes.’