05/09/2008

Further Housing Association Commitment To First-Time Buyer Scheme

The Government's latest first-time buyers scheme has been given a further boost with the announcement that the North and West Housing Association has committed £4m to the money pot.

This comes hot on the heels of the NI Housing Minister's announcement earlier this week of an affordable housing scheme in Portadown.

First time buyers there will benefit from a unique partnership between a developer, housing associations and lenders, whereby the purchaser will only have to pay for half of the mortgage up front.

Minister Margaret Ritchie has now welcomed the North and West Housing Association's pledge.

Ms Ritchie said she wants to see similar partnerships rolled out throughout Northern Ireland.

It is estimated that this £4million investment could help around 100 home buyers in the North West, in the current market.

Precise details of the location for the homes available for purchase will be announced at a later date.
News Image
The Minister welcomed the news at a special one day housing conference in Derry (City Guildhall, pictured), where delegates heard how she plans to invest over £21m this year to improve the housing conditions for thousands of people living across the city.

Included within this investment are plans to complete the delivery of 145 new social homes this year, whilst work on a further 138 new homes will begin.

Ms Ritchie said: "House prices in Derry have risen by one hundred and fifty per cent during the last five years and despite recent reductions, many first time buyers remain unable to make that first step on to the housing ladder.

"I launched a new affordable housing partnership earlier this week in Portadown and am delighted that, coming on the heels of this, the Board of North and West Housing Association has made up to £4million available for similar affordable housing schemes that are so badly needed here in Derry."

In outlining her commitment to social housing in Derry the Minister said: "I can assure the people of Derry that I am firmly committed to increasing social housing and improving living conditions in Derry.

"That is why I am investing £21million this year. What is more, I will be back next week to unveil two new housing schemes worth over £12.5million that will provide over 100 much needed new social homes for the people of the Creggan and the Bogside," she added.

(PR)(BMcC)

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