"One of the most notable changes in affordable housing in its broadest sense, has been the growth of groups eligible to apply for subsidised housing. There has already been a shift away from key worker eligibility status towards income-based assessments. In the UK, £60,000 of household income is now the accepted limit for eligibility for access to most shared ownership schemes and there is talk of this limit being raised to £74,000 in the capital. In London Boris Johnson, the Mayor, has equated eligibility to cover everyone paying basic rate income tax.
"This is a remarkable situation to find ourselves in – and something which points to the real need for an expansion of delivery of housing across the board to improve access to housing.
"Despite lower houses prices, affordability is still a serious issue. When we consider mortgage financing, the market is arguably more unaffordable and inaccessible for the average first-time buyer than at the peak in 2007. Lower property prices have not meant improved affordability.
"Despite house prices falling by 15% or 20% on average, the proportion of a buyer’s income required to secure a mortgage, has only come down 1% – 24% of a buyer’s income was required to secure a mortgage at the peak in 2007 and now it has only come down to 23% by mid 2009, despite the fact they need to secure larger deposits than in the past. So the situation for first-time buyers is pretty tough."
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