Scheme to help public sector workers buy homes launched

Key public
sector workers are to receive Government help in buying homes after the launch
of a new £250m initiative.

Over 11,000
key public workers will benefit from the Starter Home Initiative which was
announced by Stephen Byers, Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government
and the Regions.

The scheme
is designed to help staff, including nurses, teachers and police officers to
find homes in areas where high house prices are undermining recruitment and
retention.

Byers also
announced measures to increase the stock of affordable homes.

“Dedicated and essential staff such as teachers and nurses
should not be priced out of their chosen professions by high house prices in
London, the South East and elsewhere.

“The Starter Home Initiative will help 10,000 key staff buy
homes in housing hotspots and in addition 1,200 key workers who will gain from
the Housing Corporation scheme,” said Byers.

Part of the Starter Home Initiative is a £20 million scheme,
which will allow 2,000 public sectors workers to benefit from interest free
equity loans of £10,000.

Possible changes to planning guidance and plans to bring
back empty properties into use were also announced as a measure to provide
additional, affordable housing.

By Ross Wigham

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