Thursday, September 01, 2005

Reform Party concern with new Housing Project

The Reform Party yesterday expressed its concern on the new housing project at Waterport Terraces.

A party spokesman said:

"Of course we welcome the principle of this new housing scheme.

It is intended to provide homes for ordinary people rather than investments for
the rich.

We also agree with most of the detailed restrictions on who may apply.

However, the small print in the full eligibility conditions causes us serious concern.

For instance, it is stated that allocation preference may be given to those who contribute more than the minimum 50% of total price in this co-ownership deal. This obviously means that in practice better-off applicants have an advantage in their competition for flats with those on modest incomes.

We also note that within 15 months of allocation any new resident will have to have paid, in monthly instalments, a sum equivalent to more than a quarter of the total (100%) price for the unit.

That means a payment of at least £1700 every month for the cheapest unit and correspondingly more for larger ones. Can people who need this affordable housing really manage that sort of money, even by borrowing? These loans will presumably also incur higher interest rates and unlike mortgages will not qualify for the customary tax relief!

Another issue arises from the variable time-limits before resale restrictions are eased. Those who buy at 50% are constrained for 15 years while for the 100% people it's only three years.

Unless they're amended all these conditions will just tend to 'load the dice' in favour of those with more cash in the bank than people on ordinary working-class incomes.

Related Articles & Links:

30 August 2005 - Government publishes terms for Waterport Terraces

23 August 2005 - Government announces start of information and sales campaign for Waterport Terraces housing development

The Reform Party News and Information Blog

01 September 2005 - Reform Party Newsletter - 'Green Rock News' September issue has just been published. It's available by post (paper version) or Email (electronic version). Email or Phone Gibraltar (00350) 41073 for your copy in either of the formats.


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