Houses for hard workers priced at £60,000

Low paid professionals are to get their first chance of gaining a toehold on the property ladder under a government plan to offer first homes for £60,000.

At least 10,000 aspiring first time owners will be able to purchase the properties, designed for public sector workers and "hard working families."

Releasing the plans, Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott said the £500m scheme intends to help people such as nurses and teachers, "who were unfairly priced out of the market."

Under the new initiative, vacant land owned by the government such as the NHS and the MoD, would be leased at a subsidised rate to developers if they agree to use the land for the £60,000 homes.

Mr Prescott believes the time has come for the construction industry to meet the challenge of building homes for as little as £60,000 – a third of the normal market price.

"It's not an asset give away" said Mr Prescott. "We recycle the subsidy. So we use our land to provide low cost homes for first time buyers and key workers."

To decide on the construction of the houses, the scheme will involve a competition to see which developers could build within a budget of £60,000.

Housing associations and private sector lenders already offer similar shared equity home purchase plans.

The move for cheaper housing is a compliment to the government's additional pledge to provide 30,000 affordable homes by 2008.

The scheme comes as last week Freelance UK covered the Deputy Prime Minister's remarks to the construction industry, when he posed the question: "Why does it cost so much to build bloody houses in this country?"

Figures show that since1997, residential construction costs in the UK have risen by as much as 50 per cent.


28th September 2004

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