Housing Scheme for Armed Forces

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by PompeySailor, Sep 20, 2006.

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  1. Members of the Armed Forces will for the first time receive help to get a first step onto the housing ladder it was announced today, 20 September 2006.

    Under an expansion of the Government's key worker programme, military personnel will be able to buy a newly built home, paying as little as 25 per cent of the price and a reduced rent on the remaining cost of the home.

    The new build, shared ownership properties will be available in London, the South East and Eastern regions.

    Up to 10,000 members of the Armed Forces and their families, currently living in Service housing, will be eligible.

    Members of the Armed Forces on operational deployments in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, and a further 2,500 MOD civilian workers would also qualify for assistance.

    Visiting a family benefiting from a New Build Homebuy scheme in Kennington, Ruth Kelly Secretary for Communities and Local Government who announced the programme with Derek Twigg, Under Secretary of State for Defence, said:

    "Our Armed Forces play a vital role in public life and their local communities; this new support recognises that contribution. We know that in some areas of the country service personnel like other key workers have been priced out of the housing market. That is why we have put low cost home ownership programmes in place, which have supported thousands of families to buy their own homes. Extending key worker housing help to the military will enable many more people to meet their aspirations and get a foot onto the housing ladder."

    Derek Twigg added:

    "I'm proud that the Armed Forces' significant contribution to their local communities and role as a force for good worldwide has been further recognised through today's expansion of the Key Worker Living Programme. This demonstrates the MoD's commitment to continually improving the terms and condition of service that we offer our people.

    "Whilst we provide service personnel with high-quality subsidised accommodation wherever they are based, we know that for some it is not the same as owning their own home. Now those living in the high cost areas of London, the East and South East have greater choice in where they live, improving stability for their families and offering them the opportunity to meet their home-ownership aspirations."

    The programme will be available to service personnel whose household income is £60,000 or less and who live and work in London, the South East or East.

    MOD civilians eligible would include those employed in professions already eligible for key worker status, e.g. MOD Police or Fire-Fighters and clinical staff.

    An independent evaluation published today shows the success of the key worker programme in turning around the previous crisis in retaining public sector staff. Up to now, more than 22,000 key workers have been helped into low cost home ownership.

    Six out of ten key workers who benefited from support to buy their own home revealed they were more likely to stay in their occupations. 95 per cent of the 2,000 key workers who took part in the evaluation by the University of Birmingham, said they were very or fairly satisfied with the programme.

    Employers also agreed that opportunities for low cost home ownership have encouraged staff to remain in their job, according to the report, with head-teachers in London saying that key worker housing has been a strong incentive for their staff to stay in the Capital.

    The programme is helping people on average incomes to buy their own homes, with 64 per cent of those benefiting having household incomes under £35,000. Once on the housing ladder, very few key workers reported difficulty meeting their new housing costs.

    Ruth Kelly added:

    "We have made major progress in helping key workers into low cost homeownership. As this report shows, key worker support is making a real difference in retaining the essential skills needed in our public services to improve our schools and hospitals. But we need to go further.

    "Next month, we will be increasing support to help even more key workers and other first time buyers into home ownership. We have also set up the Shared Equity Task Force to look at expanding shared ownership even further. Ultimately though, if we are to ease pressures on first time buyers, we need to build more homes across the board."

  2. mmmmm about time too, anymore details PompeySailor?
  3. It was only announced today, but the links are (naturally) on the internal MODNet. I have chucked an external link at the bottom of the first post which takes you out to the organisation which is running the scheme.

    If it's as good as it appears, it could be a useful first step up for many in the Forces who cannot afford housing. I don't know about the use of LSAP in this (in that the LSAP scheme requires a first charge on the property), but a swift race to the RAO should/could clarify that one. There should be no reason that LSAP can't be used.....
  4. Available for these main areas, it appears:

    Employed people with a local connection ie working or living in the area and serving a community in the area or nearby. Maximum household income of £49K.

    South East
    People making a direct contribution to the local economy, including other workers essential to providing frontline public services (not already covered by Key Worker Living). Maximum household income of £60K allowing for families as well as smaller households to be helped.

    The following public sector workers: medical secretaries, medical receptionists, teaching assistants, learning assistants, care workers employed by local authorities. Maximum household income of £60K.
  5. The trouble with this is that the newly built houses on the key worker programme are 1/8th the size of a shoe box. IMHO the best route to go down is the LSSAP and find a house that you can be comfortable in. Its not all doom and gloom for first time buyers and there are deals to be had, you just have to look around and compromise in some areas
  6. If nothing else, it could be a leg up into the market, and with LSAP sitting at £8.5K, it might help those at the bottom find a way off the MQ system. It's not ideal, but it moves the Armed Forces into the arena of social housing, something we have been denied for far too long.
  7. It's about time. Very welcome initiative. But not much use if you are in Catterick, Pompey or Kinloss.

    We would be most interested in any more information, or your comments.

    Douglas Young
    British Armed Forces Federation
  8. Dont get me wrong PS, I think anything that can help soldiers get their foot in the door is great. I would advise any young soldier now to get on the market asap.
  9. I wrote three paragraphs disagreeing with you, and the system ate them! Are you inside my PC, PS?

    Briefly, there used to be council housing for all those who left the Services. Successive Governments have screwed that idea.

    I don't know whether this housing scheme is a good idea, but it is hard to see how so much publicity will benefit more than a handful of our personnel.

  10. My wife is a homelessness prevention officer.....I know far more than I realy need to about council housing stocks, homelessness, rooflessness, intentional and unintentional, etc (including misconceptions about 'effing asylum seekers who jump the queue' - they don't)! The trouble we have is that being in the Forces, we are, as far as the rules are concerned, rootless. We don't generate what the local authorities class as "links" to a society, even when our wives work in the community, our children go to the schools, and we contribute council tax. Once we leave the Forces, we cease to exist as far as they are concerned.

    I think the scheme will benefit those who are starting out now, in that they can get themselves into the housing scheme. Those of us that are greying around the temples may be a little too late, as once you leave the qualifying employment, you no longer qualify for any part of this scheme. However, moving into this housing for a couple of years would, if nothing else, establish a link to the local community.

    It's a start, that's all, and a scheme that we should have had access to when it first came out. We need more - we need Annington Homes to be forced to set aside 5-10% of the housing stock they resell for servicepeople, and they prices should be set to meet their salaries. We should be able to override the local links regulations to settle in an area where we can prove family, employment and schooling. We should have LSAP lifted to a reasonable amount (but there are lots of problems with tax, repayment, etc). We should have a stronger link to ex-Service people and the problems of homelessness. We should have lots of things, and hopefully BAFF will put these points into the mainstream so that people can understand how we are disadvantaged in some social areas, and to get a result.
  11. 'Iraq and Afghan heroes to benefit from cheap homes scheme

    Soldiers, sailors and RAF crews today became eligible to buy cheap homes across the South-East as the Government expands its "key worker" housing scheme.

    Up to 10,000 armed forces servicemen and women will qualify for the project for the first time, Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly announced.

    Normally associated with teachers and nurses, the initiative has been extended to cover military personnel in recognition of the dangerous roles they are playing in hotspots across the globe from Iraq to Afghanistan.

    The move is the latest by ministers to reward the efforts of one of the "forgotten" public services and follows the Chancellor's decision this year to award squaddies aboveinflation pay rises.

    As key workers they will be given the chance to buy a share in a new build home, while paying a subsidised rent on the remainder. Ms Kelly, accompanied by Defence Minister Derek Twigg, said that as well as those deployed abroad, a further 25,000 MoD civilian workers would qualify for help in the capital and wider South-East.

    Visiting a family benefiting from a New Build Homebuy scheme in Kennington, she said: "Our Armed Forces play a vital role in public life and their local communities; this new support recognises that contribution."

    Mr Twigg added: "While we provide service personnel with highquality subsidised accommodation wherever they are based, we know that for some it is not the same as owning their own home."

    Ms Kelly also published a study showing that the scheme is helping up to 22,000 teachers, nurses and others to keep working in areas where they had previously been edged out by high housing prices.

    The MoD personnel who qualify from today are those who have completed their basic training and work for the Army, Navy and RAF, the MoD police force and Defence Fire Service.'

  12. Agreed.

  13. You had three paragraphs disagreeing with me and you come up with "Agreed"?!

  14. is this not the same one that was released last year for nurses & scabmen (sorry firemen) ????
  15. Yes it is, but it has been extended to the Armed Forces in the three listed areas. So, your next door neighbour could either be a student nurse. Or a fireman.

    Do your research before buying!