Headlines: January 17th, 2002

Nurses, teachers, police officers, social workers, Prison Service staff and fire fighters working in housing hotspots in the South East, Eastern, South West and West Midlands regions will be given equity loans to help them buy properties. These are areas where high house prices are undermining recruitment and retention. The aim of the loans is unlock the housing market for essential staff to ensure they are not priced out of their chosen professions.2000 equity loans of 10,000 pounds will be given to allow the key workers to buy homes on the open market or in new-build schemes. A loan will be a lump sum contribution towards the purchase price of a property. Instead of making monthly repayments on the loan, it will be repaid when the property is sold and the repayment will the equivalent percentage of the value of the property at the time of the resale. Where a 10,000 pounds loan represents 12.5% of the purchase value of the property, the repayment will be 12.5% of the resale price.

The proceeds of the sale will be handed to the scheme manager that provided the loan and this sum may then be recycled as a further equity loan to help another key worker purchase a home.

The scheme is run jointly by the Housing Corporation and DTLR.

Bids are invited from registered social landlords, local authorities or employers to administer the scheme. Allocations to successful bidders will be announced in May.

Link: www.dtlr.gov.uk   <http://www.dtlr.gov.uk