Government’s Home Ownership Scheme Lags Behind Reform Jersey
Responding to the announcement by the Housing Minister of an affordable home ownership scheme, Reform Jersey said -
The scheme announced by the Minister today is almost identical to the one proposed by Reform Jersey one year ago, which was opposed by the government.
The £10m fund for an affordable housing scheme was first secured by Deputy Mézec in the 2020 Government Plan. Last year, Deputy Mézec proposed in the States Assembly that this fund be used to establish a shared equity scheme through Andium Homes to help private renters buy homes in the private sector. Andium would have then recycled the funds as homes are eventually sold by their first purchasers, using the uplift to help more people buy their first homes as time goes by.
In the year since the government rejected Reform Jersey’s proposal, the Minister has dithered, only to end up arriving at the same conclusion. This has meant the scheme will be in place a year later than it could have been and, because of rising housing costs, will help fewer people in the short term.
In the 2022 election Reform Jersey proposed a comprehensive ‘Housing Crisis Action Plan’, to be implemented as a matter of urgency by the next government. Despite numerous attempts to drive this forward in the States Assembly, the Better Way Conservative Coalition has opposed every measure, preferring instead to fumble through time consuming consultations, all while Islanders suffer from this crisis.
The government’s approach to the housing crisis is one of complacency. This indulgence is not one the people of Jersey can afford. Whilst the scheme announced today is better late than never, the government must adopt the rest of our Housing Crisis Action Plan without delay.