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Key workers offered Christmas gift of helping hand in property

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Dozens of key workers and families struggling to get a foot on the property ladder have been handed the ultimate Christmas gift – a brand-new house of their own with the opportunity to eventually buy it for just £1.


The pioneering Help to Own scheme in Wolverhampton has received thousands of inquiries from people across the UK wanting to make their dream of home ownership a reality.


Now, all 100 of the brand-new houses available under the scheme have been allocated in time for Christmas.


With no deposit necessary, the scheme offers a unique route to homeownership and sparked more than 3,958 inquiries from as far afield as Devon, leading to 563 formal applications.


Of the 100 properties allocated, 37% have gone to key workers including NHS staff who have been on the frontline in the battle against Covid. A total of 69% have been allocated to families and the average age of the successful applicants is 36.


City of Wolverhampton Council leader, Cllr Ian Brookfield, said: “The success of the scheme is testament to our own well-established housing company, WV Living, who have worked closely with the Help to Own team to deliver these 100 stunning, new-build houses.


“This scheme is giving local families, couples and individuals the opportunity to get on the property ladder and own new, quality-built homes, making the route to homeownership far more accessible than typical private market renting. 


“Our key workers – like those just down the road from The Marches at New Cross Hospital – have been at the forefront of our long and taxing battle against Covid-19 and it is hugely satisfying to know we have produced a home ownership scheme with our partners that really does help them achieve their dream of home ownership.”


Sam Miller, commercial director, new propositions at FDC, which developed the idea from inception, added: “The response since launch has been very strong, and with high demand outside of Wolverhampton and across the West Midlands region, our vision is to roll the scheme out in different locations across the UK.”


The houses, a mix of two, three and four-bedroom properties, are being built on The Marches development off Lakefield Road, close to Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital.


All 100 houses will be completed and occupied by the end of April but 28 successful applicants have already moved into their new homes for Christmas. A further 21 will be handed the keys at the end of January.


Written by: David Watkins

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