Council puts £5m into housing key workers

NHS staff, teachers and carers who are struggling to get on the housing ladder will get help from York Council.

YORK

Councillors in York have approved a £5m scheme to get more key workers on the housing ladder.

The scheme will be a shared ownership programme, consisting of 40 new-build homes and 25 homes bought on the open market.

Councillors agreed to accept a grant from the Homes and Communities Agency, and to put in £2.76m match funding from the authority’s own housing funds.

Cllr Sam Lisle, executive member for housing, said the scheme would help reduce the large deposits needed, with estimates showing under the scheme you would need a deposit of £4,200 instead of £8,400 for a £168,000 property.

He said: “Clearly this is a brilliant result for low income households who would love to own their own home in York, but haven’t been able to on the open market.”

While eligibility is tightly controlled by government rules, the council can market the scheme to people it particularly wants to help – like the health and education key workers, Cllr Lisle added.

Housing manager Paul Landais-Stamp told councillors the 25 “second hand” homes would be bought with input from customers, who would have the chance to select the home they wanted help to buy and could end up choosing new builds.

The additional homes would likely be on large developments, and would give the council opportunities to “bump up” the affordable housing ratios on the sites.

Cllr Stuart Barnes, from the Labour group, said the initiative was welcome but would not provide anywhere near the number of those type of homes really needed – 115 a year rather than the promised 65 over nearly three years.

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