South Hams grant scheme to help locals get on housing ladder

A scheme to help people get on the housing ladder is being launched in Devon.

www.bbc.co.uk

Dartmouth

The council had previously said it knew people were being “priced out” of the district, including in Dartmouth

Up to £5,000 will be given to anyone in the South Hams who is currently renting a social housing property, to help them purchase a shared ownership home.

South Hams District Council said the grant scheme would help more people step on the housing ladder and free up more homes to rent.

The Step On scheme will launch on 1 April.

The council said it “looked beyond traditional solutions to pull the district out of the current housing crisis”.

The authority declared a housing crisis in September as house prices “rocketed” and the number of rental properties hit “rock bottom”, it said.

‘People are struggling’

The authority said it believed the grant scheme was the first of its kind in the UK.

The maximum £5,000 funding makes 100% of the deposit required to purchase up to 30% of a shared ownership home.

The council said: “There are currently over 170 new shared ownership homes of various sizes in the pipeline for communities across the South Hams.”

Councillor Judy Pearce, leader of the authority, said: “We all know that steep house prices and a shortage of homes for rent means many local people are struggling to find a home.

“By providing up to £5,000, which will not need to be paid back, we can give local residents a helping hand to step on the housing ladder.

“This in turn, would allow their homes to become available for relet to a household on the housing register, helping us to help even more people.”

To be eligible for a shared ownership property, the annual household income can be no more than £80,000.

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