Affordable housing plans unveiled for London

The
Government has unveiled a new £5bn housing allocation scheme to provide
affordable housing for London’s key workers over the next two years.

Deputy
Prime Minister John Prescott outlined the scheme which is designed to help
employers recruit and retain essential staff across the capital.

The
Key Worker Programme will succeed the Starter Home Initiative from 1 April next
year:

The
Government hopes the initiative will provide support that is better targeted
and tailored to meet the needs of public services.

Most
assistance will continue to be directed towards priority categories, such as
health workers and teachers. However, it is also proposed the programme should
be widened to include other public sector workers to help tackle recruitment
and retention problems.

The
programme will offer four simple options to help key workers into home
ownership, upgrade to family homes or rent at affordable levels. There will
also be more emphasis on larger homes, reflecting the problems faced by many
key workers when they seek to upgrade to a family home.

Prescott
also announced additional funding for transitional arrangements following the
abolition of Local Authority Social Housing Grant in April. Schemes totalling
£680m will provide more than 14,000 homes over the next three years.

By Ross Wigham

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