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3 Sep 2007 : Column 1651Wcontinued
|Number of v acancies in London b oroughs, 2002-06|
|November 2002||November 2003||November 2004||October 2005||October 2006|
|n/a = information not available. Note: Figures for London include estimates for missing local authority data. Source: Council Tax Base (CTB1) return from local authorities.|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) financial and (b) other incentives (i) Open Market Homebuy agents, (ii) New Build Homebuy agents and (iii) Social Homebuy agents received from selling an equity stake; and whether the level of the incentives varies according to the size of the equity stake purchased by the householder. 
Yvette Cooper: The term HomeBuy Agents applies to those registered social landlords that have been appointed by the Housing Corporation to provide a One Stop Shop for all low cost home ownership products funded by the Affordable Housing Programme. The introduction of HomeBuy Agents across the country in April 2006 has streamlined the application process for applicants and provided strict eligibility and affordability checks to ensure value for money for the public purse.
The financial incentives for registered social landlords to offer our New Build, Open Market and Social HomeBuy products are:
The availability of Government grant to:
cover the cost of the Governments equity loan under Open Market HomeBuy;
cover the discount offered under Social HomeBuy;
contribute to the cost of developing New Build HomeBuy homes; and
assist with any associated administrative costs.
The receipts generated by the sale of shares under New Build and Social HomeBuy. The level of this incentive will vary depending on the size of the share sold. The higher the share sold, the higher the receipt. The original grant must be recycled to provide more affordable homes, the remaining receipt must only be spent on permitted activities.
The equity appreciation that could be earned on their stake in any low cost home ownership homes they provide.
The rental income generated by shared ownership sales under New Build HomeBuy and Social Homebuy. Again the level of
this incentive will vary according to the size of share sold. The higher the share sold, the lower the rental income.
The freedom for landlords (this includes local authorities) offering Social HomeBuy to retain receipts for reinvestment in affordable housing to meet current housing needs.
The availability of alternative sources of subsidy for New Build HomeBuy including on site developer contributions through planning obligations and financial or land contributions from local authorities.
The ability to introduce tenure mix on estates and contribute to sustainable communities through New Build HomeBuy and Social HomeBuy sales.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has given to fire authorities and fire brigades on the use of (a) flashing lights and (b) sirens when travelling to emergency call-outs. 
Mr. Dhanda: Communities and Local Government have not issued any guidance on the use of flashing lights and sirens to the Fire and Rescue Service as this is an operational matter for individual Chief Officers.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average age of first time buyers was in each London borough in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The following table shows the average age of first time buyers for London from 2002-06. Data at the London borough level is unavailable due to small sample sizes.
|Median age of first-time buyers in London|
Regulated Mortgage Survey, sitting tenants excluded
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