Headlines: December 14th, 2000

A new starter home initiative that could help at least 10,000 nurses, teachers, police and other key workers buy affordable homes is among the features of the Homes Bill and set out in a housing policy strategy by the Deputy Prime Minister.Other initiatives include the introduction of the seller’s pack to ease the stress of moving house, and new help for 100,000 people who face homelessness through no fault of their own.

Together, the two documents set out the Government’s vision for improving the experience of living in every type of home. The Government says it is the most far-reaching review of housing for 23 years, and that it is an essential ingredient of tackling social exclusion, and achieving urban and rural renewal.

The subsidising of homes for key workers will attract funding of 250 million pounds spread over three years. Bids for the money must demonstrate that the money will truly be aimed at providing starter homes, not, in the case of new developments, on excess development costs.

To qualify for the scheme at least one member of any household applying to buy through the scheme must be employed within the target key worker group and total household income and savings must be taken into account in assessing the need for assistance.

The aim of the sellers information packs require a person selling a house to put together a pack of routine information for prospective buyers – which should speed up delays currently experienced between an offer being accepted and the exchange of contracts.

Combined with this are measures to pressurise the professionals involved in selling houses both to use new technology and put greater effort into simplifying the ordeal.

Link: www.detr.gov.uk