Public sector staff including teachers, police and health workers working in housing hot spots in London and the South East are being urged to apply now for funding from the Starter Home Initiative. A publicity campaign is being launched to raise awareness of the help that is available from the Initiative.The aim is to invest 1 billion pounds in key worker housing schemes over the next three years to March 2006. This is a four fold increase compared to the last three years when 250 million was available to help 3,300 public service staff to achieve home ownership and ease recruitment and retention problems.
Assistance such as equity loans and shared ownership are available to help with house purchase. An equity loan is a lump sum contribution towards the purchase price of the property. Instead of making monthly repayments on the loan, it is repaid when the property is sold. The amount repaid by the key worker is the equivalent percentage of the value of the property at the time of re-sale. Under shared ownership, an affordable share of the property is purchased and rent may be paid on the remaining share.