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Government-backed loan deposit scheme back on political agenda

Government-backed loan deposit scheme back on political agenda

Friday 24 February 2023

Government-backed loan deposit scheme back on political agenda

Friday 24 February 2023

Government-backed loan deposit scheme could be proposed again, says Chief Minister - despite having failed to persuade the States to back the initiative when she was in Scrutiny.

At the latest quarterly hearing, the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel's current chair Deputy Sam Mèzec repeatedly pressed the Chief Minister on what specific initiatives were being developed by the strategic housing unit to deploy the £10million set aside to help islanders get on the housing ladder.

He was not satisfied by being told that the strategic housing unit was being expanded.

"If you are one of those people who lives in a newly built, one-bedroom flat – even built by the Government on Government-owned land because you have no alternative for a housing option – and you can't save up for a deposit, those people won't find much consolation hearing there is a shifting around of some civil servants. They will want to know what the outcome is – what is the proposed outcome?," Deputy Mèzec asked.

Deputy Sam Mezec.jpg

Pictured: Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel chair, Deputy Sam Mèzec

The Chief Minister replied: "When I was in your seat, we brought forward an amendment to the Government plan to suggest that a loan deposit scheme was one of the uses for that £10million pot. That is certainly an area of policy that we will be looking at again.

"The timing is now right for such a scheme for to be introduced but there are plenty of others to be explored as well which is why we need the additional policy support."

Back in 2012 a previous Housing Minister, former Deputy Andrew Green said it was vital that the Government did more to support "hard working, frugal islanders to buy their own home".

The trial scheme was loan scheme will be open to buyers who have saved a 5% deposit, lending a further deposit of 15%, with the remainder of the money borrowed from a private mortgage lender.

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