60 First-Time Buyers To Get Share Of £10m

Up to 60 eligible first-time buyers are set get government help onto Jersey's property ladder in a new shared equity scheme.

Islanders will be able to access up to 40% towards the purchase price of a home on the open market.

They will need to put up a 5% deposit.

The amount given in help will depend on individual circumstances and income, and limits will be put on the total property cost.

A previous Government Plan in 2020 set aside the initial £10 million.  Housing Minister Deputy David Warr has now revealed how the long-awaited assistance  - called First Step - will work.

"Ministers feel this scheme represents the best way we can support a good number of households in a manner which works in today’s housing market conditions.

The way it’s structured means this isn’t the Government giving out ‘free 'money’, but well be helping people bridge the gap to get their first step onto the housing ladder, whilst seeing a return for government in the long-term, and we want to see that re-invested into new schemes in the future."

The new pilot from the Housing Minister is part of a partnership with Andium Homes, and the initiative will operate alongside its Homebuy Scheme.

Carl Mavity of Andium Homes says together, Andium Homebuy and First Step make it a really exciting time to be a first-time buyer.

"We want to encourage as many people as possible to register for the schemes.

We are also delighted to announce that we will shortly be marketing a selection of new one- and two-bedroom apartments for sale through our Homebuy Scheme in 2024."

First Step will be limited to people who have never owned any property before - in Jersey or overseas.

It is expected to be available from spring 2024, but islanders can register from today (26 September).

Allocation of funding will be prioritised towards the lowest income households and taking into account how long they have been registered on the Assisted Purchase Pathway.

Deputy Warr says getting onto the property ladder is a challenge for many people:

“We’re not saying this amount of money will improve affordability conditions in general, but the First Step scheme, together with the other initiatives being delivered to support home ownership, will enable us to make a real difference to Jersey families.

This scheme won’t just help first-time buyers, but will also help complete chains, with a ripple effect that I believe will get the housing market moving again."

Reform Jersey has responded to the announcement by claiming the scheme is identical to the one they produced, despite the government rejecting it.

Last year, Deputy Mezec proposed in the States Assembly that this fund be used to establish a shared equity scheme through Andium Homes to help private renters buy homes in the private sector. Andium would have then recycled the funds as homes are eventuallt sold by their first time purchasers, using uplift to help more people buy their first homes as time goes by.

In the year since the government rejected Roform Jersey's proposal, the Minister has dithered, only to end up arriving at the same conclusion.

 

Anyone wanting more information about Homebuy or First Step should visit the Andium Homes website or the office in Don Street.

Islanders wishing to join the Assisted Purchase Pathway, or those wanting to update their details, can do so via www.andiumhomes.je/assisted-purchase-pathway.

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