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Prescott plan aims to answer housing needs

Thousands of teachers in the South-East will be eligible for to apply for the Government's pound;690 million key worker living programme. The new initiative, announced last month by the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, aims to attract ambitious and talented public sector workers to areas where there are recruitment and retention problems.

The scheme succeeds the pound;250 million starter homes initiative which planned to put 9,000 workers in affordable housing by March 31 this year.

The new key worker scheme offers teachers four options:

* Loans of up to pound;50,000 will be available to help workers buy a home on the open market or a new properly built by a registered social landlaord.

* The London Challenge key teacher homebuy plan will provide higher loans of up to pound;100,000 for a small group of teachers with the potential to become the education leaders in the capital in the future.

* There will also be a shared ownership scheme for new properties, with teachers buying at least 25 per cent of the property and paying reduced rent on the rest.

* And an intermediate renting scheme will see rent charges set at a level between that charged by social and private landlords.

Mr Prescott said the Government was "determined to make a difference in the performance of our schools".

Teachers wanting to find out more about these options need to contact their relevant "zone agent", a registered social landlord who markets housing schemes for key workers.

For full details, telephone 0845 300 2820 or go to

Full report, page 6

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