ILKLEY'S MP Robbie Moore has welcomed a scheme which makes available discounted houses for local people and key workers under the Government’s flagship ‘First Homes’ housing scheme - which launches today.

The First Homes scheme will help local first-time buyers – many of whom will be key workers like NHS staff and veterans – onto the property ladder by offering homes at a discount of at least 30 per cent compared to the market price. This could save each buyer an average of £70,000, making deposits and mortgages more affordable. In some areas the discount could be as high as 50 per cent, providing even greater savings.

That same discount will then be passed on with the sale of the property to future first-time buyers, meaning homes will always be sold below market value – benefitting local communities, key workers, and families for generations to come.

The scheme will support local people who struggle to afford market prices in their area, but want to stay in the communities where they have grown up and work.

This news follows on from the 95 per cent mortgage guarantee scheme which helps first-time buyers secure a mortgage with just a 5 per cent deposit and the government’s ‘Own Your Home’ campaign showcasing the range of flexible home ownership options available.

Mr Moore said: “I am a big advocate of property-ownership. It gives people and families security in life without the fear of regular evictions and unaffordable rents, and provides more financial stability to household incomes. I am delighted therefore that the property ladder is being extended yet again so more people can become homeowners.

“This scheme will provide for local people so families can stay in the area in which they’ve grown up and can continue to rely on the support of family and friends – something which has become ever more evident since the outbreak of the pandemic.

"We have many areas across Keighley and Ilkley where local people are forced out of the local housing market due to unaffordable house prices. This policy will protect first time buyers against this and combat this ever-growing issue in the property market.

“I am also pleased that key workers, who have been the heroes of the last 16 months, are being included in this scheme, meaning that anyone from supermarket workers, nurses, delivery drivers and veterans, amongst many more, will be eligible to benefit from this scheme.”

The scheme has proved controversial in some quarters. Shelter is warning that it will pose a threat to the supply of social housing. The charity says the policy risks pushing desperately needed social homes out, at a time when increasing numbers of people are on the verge of homelessness.