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Housing red tape cut to boost Help to Buy supply

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: July 29, 2014

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HOUSING supply in Wales has received a boost with a cut in red tape, according to Minister for Housing and Regeneration Carl Seargant.

The AM said that, as of yesterday, all housebuilders wanting to take part in the Help to Buy — Wales scheme were no longer required to hold a consumer credit licence.

He said this licence had become a "significant deterrent".

The Help to Buy — Wales scheme, launched in January, is a £170 million shared equity loan scheme designed to support home ownership, stimulate building activity and provide a lift to the housing sector.

"The scheme has already made an important contribution to restoring confidence in the Welsh construction sector, something that has been reflected in the most recent housing statistics that show an increase in the number of new sites under development across Wales," said Mr Sergeant. "However, in light of this progress, I have also been looking at ways to extend the benefits of the initiative to a wider selection of both developers and buyers by addressing any barriers to participation.

"Based upon responses from Assembly Members, constituents and the building industry more generally, it is clear that the legal requirement for builders to obtain a consumer credit licence before registering with the Help to Buy – Wales scheme has acted as a significant deterrent given the costs involved in obtaining this licence from the Financial Conduct Authority."

He said he has successfully pressed the UK Government to amend the legislation in this area. "As a result, I have amended the registration process for developers to reflect this," he added.

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