Health Workers Benefit from More Affordable Housing Scheme

Peter Russell

November 26, 2021

Two NHS workers have spoken of their delight at being among the first key workers to be helped on to the housing ladder through a new home ownership scheme.

The First Homes scheme offers homes at a discount of at least 30% of the market price to local first-time buyers and keyworkers.

Laura, a nurse, described her move as "surreal" and said it had "been a long time coming, and something we have worked towards for the past few years".

First Homes is currently in a pilot phase.

Sites in Bolsover, Derbyshire, Cannock in Staffordshire, and Newton Aycliffe in County Durham are the first to put homes on the market.

Levelling Up

The scheme would help level up communities across the country by increasing the supply of affordable housing, according to ministers, who say it would allow young people and families to remain in the communities where they want to live and work.
"When the First Homes scheme became available it was too much of a good opportunity to miss," said Laura from Bolsover. "It enabled us to put down a 10% deposit on our house – something we would probably not have been able to do without the scheme."
NHS worker Nicky Bembridge said: "It’s just going to be nice to have my own space, that is actually mine, not rented or anything like that. 
"It’s just going to be fantastic."
A total of 1500 First Homes are set to be built in more than 100 locations across England by March 2023. An estimated 10,000 properties are expected to be delivered each year by 2027-28.
Although the required minimum discount must be 30% below the open market value, local authorities and neighbourhood planning groups have the discretion to require a higher minimum discount of either 40% or 50% if they can demonstrate a need for this.

Help to Build

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has also made £150 million available for the launch of a  scheme aimed at making it more affordable for people to build their own homes.
Successful applicants would have more capital for their project as a result of needing a lower deposit. The scheme would also provide an equity loan on the completed property, similar to the Help to Buy scheme.
The ambition is to deliver up to 40,000 new homes each year while boosting work for small building firms.
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said: "We are determined to help more people on to the housing ladderand are providing significant funding to regenerate derelict land, deliver new homes, and create prosperous local communities across the country."

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