£10 million to help Jersey families get on property ladder

The document includes plans to introduce a range of new policies and systems to help to improve the supply of new homes. Credit: PA Images

Jersey's Housing Minister has published an Action Plan for homes on the island, which includes investing £10 million to support local families buying their first house.

Deputy Russell Labey plans to introduce a range of new policies and systems to help improve the supply of new homes.

But the former Housing Minister and Reform Jersey leader Senator Sam Mézec has called the document "a huge disappointment", suggesting its purpose may be to "delay having to make genuine policy decisions".

Deputy Russell Labey has made the following commitments in the plan:

  • Investing up to £10 million to support local families purchasing their first home by mid-2022

  • Providing 1,000 new affordable homes by 2025

Deputy Russell Labey says he will make sure that housing availability and housing policy considerations are included in the development of new migration controls and the future population policy.

  • Increasing the number of houses starting construction by 80% by 2025

  • Putting in place a long-term pipeline of land release by the end of 2021

A number of government-owned sites could be used to deliver affordable homes and are being reviewed. They include: • Ambulance Station • The Limes • Le Bas • St. Saviour’s Hospital (part) • Westaway Court • La Motte Street offices

  • Increasing supply in the social rented sector as a vital component of overall housing supply

  • Increasing supply of new key worker accommodation

  • Putting plans in place to make sure that private tenants have the legal protection they need and are protected from excessive rent rises

  • Expanding the eligibility of socially rented accommodation and carrying out a review into social rents by 2021

  • Providing islanders who have care needs the opportunity to live in a home that can be adapted throughout their lifetime

  • Helping older home-owners to “right size” into a new home, releasing more family units on to the market

  • Creating a newly formed Housing Advice Service to help islanders get information quickly when they have housing queries

  • Creating a homelessness support service

Last year, house prices in the island hit an all time high. One bed flats and two and three bed houses were the most expensive they have ever been.

In February, figures showed getting a mortgage on a median-priced house in Jersey is no longer feasible for the average working household.