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Proposals for “Shared Equity” scheme giving first time buyers a 35% discount

20 May 2008

The Minister for Planning & Environment has lodged proposed amendments to the Island Plan 2002 paving the way for Jersey Homebuy, similar to a shared equity scheme, which will allow qualifying Islanders to buy their first home at a 35% discount.

Senator Cohen, Minister for Planning & Environment said: “With average house prices rising by as much as 28% over the last year, affordability is an increasing problem for more Islanders.  Shared Equity was one of my key manifesto commitments and I am delighted to present these proposals which will enable more families to purchase their own homes.”

Affordable home ownership is a key policy of the Council of Ministers and if approved, Jersey Homebuy will be applied to a proportion of the properties on all affordable housing sites now and into the future.  Initially the proposal is directed at the remaining three H2 sites and could deliver around 65 homes. If successful it could be extended to many other new housing developments.

The Housing Department’s existing means test for access to States rental accommodation will be extended to provide a gateway to affordable housing, including Jersey Homebuy. First time buyers who wish to register their interest in the scheme should write to:-  Jersey Homebuy Registrations, Housing Department, PO Box 587 , St Helier , JE4 8XT , providing their full names and contact details only.

Senator Cohen went on to explain: “Qualifying Islanders would buy 100% of the first time buyer property for just 65% of the market value. If they then sell it on at any time in the future the sale would have to be to a first time buyer who would then pay 100% of the current value. The seller would take away 65% of the sale proceeds and the other 35% would be paid to a not-for-profit body that would re-invest the money into additional affordable housing provision. It’s a win-win for the buyer and for the future of affordable housing in Jersey .”

Senator Terry Le Main , Minister for Housing said: “I am delighted to see these proposals being lodged, I have been concerned for some time about the affordability of homes for middle and lower earning first time buyers.  The gateway that we are proposing to operate is a vital tool in ensuring that Jersey Homebuy homes are reserved for those people.”



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