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First-time buyers in Jersey given a helping hand

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First-time buyers in Jersey could be given a helping hand to get onto the property ladder.

Plans to build homes in St Peter are being explored by Constable John Refault and could make a huge difference to those who just cannot afford their own place.

Tracy Pallot and husband Kevin had become resigned to renting forever, unable to save for the huge deposits Jersey's housing market dictates.

Under this new scheme, the parish wants to ensure the properties remain affordable in perpetuity and to do that the Constable wants St Peter to hold 25% of the properties value in trust, with the remaining 75% belonging to the owner.

Rules will also be in place to make sure that if they do then sell it on, it'll have to be to other first time buyers.

It's not the first time the parish have been at the forefront of first-time buyer developments. Constable W P Le Marquand introduced a self-build model back in the early 1970s.

It meant first time buyers could afford to build their own homes without having to pay for the developers profit.

One of the first to do just that here is Constable Refault, and it's that experience that's made him want to make a change.

When we moved in it was a dream. It was difficult, our first years, having to pay back a mortgage and my daughter came along the first year we moved in and my son was already 3 by that time and so I think families would really love to have their opportunity of having their own home.

– Constable John Refault, St Peter

Should the scheme become a reality, a strict selection process would be in place.

The first step is for the Parish is to gauge demand to see if the project would be worthwhile, then there is the search for suitable sites.

Constable Refault hopes local landowners will be eager to be a part of the project.

You can have all of nothing, or something of something, and at the same time you're giving something to the young of our island so basically where we go to next, once we know there's demand is to go to various landowners and see are you interested to go the next step on this model and if so go to the planning minister for some pre-planning advice and see what sites are viable with this type of development.

– Constable John Refault, St Peter

The Constable stressed that anyone who wished to register their interest in buying a home should have a family, residential or working connection with St Peter.

Application forms to register an interest in the possible scheme are available from the Parish Hall in Rue des Fosses, open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.