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First Step assisted home ownership scheme launched

29 February 2024

From today (29 February) Islanders can apply for government funding to help buy their first home.

First Step, a new scheme to help aspiring homeowners onto the property ladder, has been launched by the Minister for Housing, Deputy Sam Mézec.

The assisted purchase home ownership scheme, delivered in partnership with Andium Homes, uses £10m of government funding to help eligible Islanders access a contribution of up to 40% towards the purchase of an open-market property.

Buyers will need to provide a 5% deposit towards the purchase and be able to access the maximum lending available to them from one of the scheme’s partnering mortgage lenders. The First Step scheme is limited to genuine first-time buyers who have never owned property in Jersey or overseas.  

The funding, which was allocated in a previous Government Plan, is available now that final policy development is complete and following consultation with local banks, lawyers and estate agents. 

Islanders already registered on the Assisted Purchase Pathway are being invited to apply for the First Step scheme.

Islanders not already registered on the Pathway but wishing to put themselves forward for the new scheme are being encouraged to submit their details before applying for First Step.

There will be three rounds of applications for the scheme. The first round will be open from 29 February for four weeks until 2 April, at which point Andium Homes will assess applications and notify successful applicants.

Applications will be means-tested against the financial criteria, with prioritisation also given to applicants who have been registered on the Assisted Purchase Pathway for longest and those whose financial circumstances would otherwise make it difficult for them to purchase a home without financial support.

There will be two further rounds of applications in July and September, so Islanders are encouraged to apply again if they are unsuccessful in the first round of the scheme.

Andium Homes, the States-owned affordable housing provider, will administer the First Step scheme on behalf of government, making use of its established experience running the Andium Homebuy scheme.

It is anticipated that up to 60 households will benefit from the initial £10 million investment, which the Government will consider extending should the scheme prove successful. 

Access to First Step funding will be available to those who have a household income within the Minister for Housing’s existing assisted purchase eligibility criteria and meet the other eligibility criteria approved by the Minister for the scheme.

The Minister for Housing, Deputy Sam Mézec, said: “One of my priorities as Minister is to support more Islanders to become homeowners. One of the issues that Islanders approach me about consistently is their wish to own a home in Jersey, and the frustration they feel at not being able to do so. The £10 million of funding made available will help change this for some of our genuine first-time buyers.

“Home ownership is important to many people; where we live matters and gives us a source of pride and sense of belonging. I’m delighted that this shared equity scheme is now available for eligible Islanders to apply so home ownership can become a reality for more people.

“The scheme’s focus on existing secondary market properties, rather than new builds, will help stimulate housing market activity at a time when turnover is low.

“I am hugely grateful to everyone involved to enable the scheme to launch, particularly our colleagues at Andium who are administering it, all the officers involved in the detailed work to get it to this stage and the industry representatives who have been so supportive of it.”

Former Minister for Housing and Communities, Deputy David Warr, said: "Throughout the summer of 2023, my team developed the “First Step” scheme. It recognises that huge gulf in affordability experienced by many. Although this is a pilot scheme that will help around 60 families in the first quarter of 2024, I have high hopes that this is a way for some who thought they may never have a home of their own to make that first move." 

Andium Homes’ Lead for Policy & Stakeholder Engagement, Dominique Caunce, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the Government to deliver this exciting initiative for first-time buyers, which will work alongside our existing Andium Homebuy shared equity scheme.

“It’s an exciting time for first-time buyers as together First Step and Andium Homebuy will make home ownership achievable for many of those who may have previously struggled to get on the property ladder.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to register for these schemes via our website or by calling our Sales Team, who will be happy to help.”

Islanders wishing to join the Assisted Purchase Pathway, or those wanting to update their details, can do so via​.

The Andium Sales Team can be reached on 500700.

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