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Should 'essential workers' be given more first-time buyer support?

Government publishes consultation to determine what criteria could be removed

Essential workers could be given additional support as part of government plans to aid in finding both temporary and permanent accommodation.

The Housing and Communities Board classes those employed in health, education, emergency services and the prison service as 'essential', but that could change depending on the outcome of the results of a public consultation.

The government acknowledges many who have recently located to the Isle of Man will have difficulties when trying to secure long-term accommodation.

Financial assistance is already available to eligible first-time buyers via the Shared Equity Scheme, which provides a loan of up to 30 percent of the property price - interest free for the first year - with a maximum purchase price of £185,000.

The Department of Infrastructure then owns the equivalent percentage share of the property, but the buyer has the option to 'buy out' the government's portion at any given time at the 'prevailing market rate'.

However, eligibility criteria for the scheme looks at maximum income thresholds, restrictions against current and previous property ownership and a minimum Isle of Man residency of at least five years.

This consultation hopes to determine if those working in critical areas of the economy should be subject to more lenient criteria which would make obtaining a first-time buyers loan easier.

The consultation can be found HERE.

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