New stats: Barely 500 Burnley and Pendle home-buyers have used controversial Help to Buy scheme since 2013 launch

The efficacy of the Help to Buy scheme has been questioned, with many pointing to the increased revenues posted by home-building companies.
The efficacy of the Help to Buy scheme has been questioned, with many pointing to the increased revenues posted by home-building companies.

New figures from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have revealed that just over 500 home buyers in Burnley and Pendle have taken advantage of the Help to Buy scheme since it was launched four years ago.

Allowing both first-time buyers and existing owners to put down a 5% deposit on their new home and use a government equity loan to access more affordable mortgage rates, the Help to Buy scheme sees the government lend buyers 20% of the value of the property under the value of £600,000.

However, according to research from housing charity Shelter has shown that the scheme only really helps the better-off, shutting out renters who struggle to access its benefits as a result of their inability to reach the minimum cut-off for savings. With a Help to Buy ISA, the Government adds 25% to the funds saved in the in buyer's account at the point the property is purchased.

The minimum they will add is £400, meaning the buyer needs to save between £1,600 and £3,000 - a figure out of reach for vast swathes of renters trapped in expensive accommodation with Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, saying: "Millions of people are stuck in the rent trap, paying well over the odds to put a roof over their head with little hope of saving anything. While Help to Buy ISAs may help a lucky few who are already better off, for most renters it will bring them no closer to a stable home."

As per Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) stats, 342 first-time buyers in Burnley have been able to take advantage of the Help to Buy scheme as well as 53 other buyers since 2013. In Pendle, 83 first-time buyers were on the scheme, as well as 28 other home buyers.