A nurse and a police officer are among the first people to benefit from a new affordable home-ownership initiative launched by the UK government.
The keyworkers from Bolsover, Derbyshire, have signed up to the government’s First Homes Scheme, which offers homes at a discount of at least 30% of the market price to local first-time buyers and keyworkers.
According to the government, the scheme will help young people and families stay in the communities where they want to live and work.
A total of 1,500 First Homes will now be built in over 100 locations across England by March 2023, following successful bidding by housebuilders.
This follows plans by Eastleigh Borough Council to deliver 200 First Homes in the borough – the single largest to date.
The government has also today published the prospectus for Help to Build, a £150m scheme announced in April to make self- and custom-build housing “a realistic and affordable option”.
The self- and custom-build sector could deliver up to 40,000 news homes a year, according to the government, providing opportunity for small building firms and creating jobs.
‘Putting local people first’
Commenting on the First Homes Scheme, Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said: “I am absolutely delighted that the first people to benefit from First Homes include a nurse and police officer.
“They have been helped to own a home in the community where they have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to keep people safe.
“This scheme is putting local people first and creating opportunities for young people and families to feel the sense of pride that comes with homeownership.
“We are determined to help more people on to the housing ladder and are providing significant funding to regenerate derelict land, deliver new homes and create prosperous local communities across the country.”
Nurse Laura said: “It feels very surreal now we have moved into our house – it has been a long time coming and something we have worked towards for the past few years.
“When the First Homes scheme became available, it was too much of a good opportunity to miss.
“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.”
Police Officer Phoebe said: “I’ve always wanted to own my own home, I secured my dream career at 22 and worked so hard to save up.
“It’s such a nice feeling knowing you have something to call your own – it’s my pride and joy.”
NHS worker Nicky Bembridge said: “I’ve been looking for a place since probably the end of last year and came across a few of the houses at Keepmoat and enquired about them.
“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.”
First Homes is currently in its pilot phase, with a number of early delivery projects supporting the rollout of the scheme.
Sites in Bolsover, Cannock, and Newton Aycliffe are among the first to put homes on the market.
The government estimated that at least 10,000 First Homes will be delivered across the country each year by 2027/28.
Official figures show that schemes such as Help to Buy and shared ownership have helped over 700,000 households onto the housing ladder since 2010.
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