The Minister for Housing and Communities, Deputy Russell Labey, has outlined proposals to bring forward a new policy to support local first-time buyers.
The Jersey Homes Promise is a new kitemark scheme for developers to show their commitment to help Islanders get on the property ladder. The kitemark will be complemented by a new Government of Jersey shared equity scheme to financially support local purchasers buying a home.
Developers signing up to the Jersey Homes Promise would commit to offering Jersey families and first-time buyers priority access to new homes, and to putting limits on sales to investors.
They would also offer assistance to Islanders buying a home, for example through a ‘pay as you go’ deposit scheme, support with legal advice, and access to the Government’s shared equity option.
The shared equity scheme, which is expected to require new legislation and States approval, would be funded by an initial £10m that was allocated through the Government Plan.
Deputy Labey said: “The Jersey Homes Promise will ensure more new homes in the Island are available to Jersey families and will help first-time buyers to access assisted purchase schemes to support them in getting that first step on the housing ladder. I’m also pleased to signal today that the Government intends to put in place a shared equity scheme to support Islanders to purchase a home.
“Importantly this puts first-time buyers and owner occupiers first in the queue, and in a queue of their own, before any investment sales.
“Initial consultation with developers including Le Masurier, Rok, Dandara and the Jersey Development Company has been very positive, and they are supportive of a kitemark scheme to help Jersey people access the housing market.”
Lee Henry, CEO of Jersey Development Company (JDC), said “We fully support the Minister’s initiative that will focus new build developments on local owner occupiers. We are also very pleased that JDC’s scheme for staged payments of deposit over the build period has been recognised as a market leader. To date we have assisted 117 First Time Buyers onto the property ladder via this pay as you go deposit scheme.”
Brian McCarthy, Managing Director of Le Masurier, said: “We welcome this new policy intent from the Housing Minister, and are pleased to be aligned to the ethos of enabling and supporting local families to access homes. The Jersey Homes Promise makes good sense and is a scheme that we would certainly be keen to sign up to and proudly display the kitemark.”
Meanwhile, the Minister for Housing and Communities has also today published his second Creating Better Homes update report.