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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

500 hours' work takes £10,000 off house price

Time is running out for would-be home owners to save £10,000 on the cost of a new home - in return for around 12 weeks toil.

A company called Housing People, Building Communities is constructing a development in Liverpool where buyers get the price reduction in return for 500 hours of work helping with the build. 

The idea of this ‘sweat equity’ is not new, although it is rarely used by other than property players in the public sector and, occasionally, by collectives of self-build enthusiasts.

HPBC is working with not-for-profit housing association Sanctuary Group to build 11 remaining homes on the site by the end of autumn. HPBC’s three bed homes in the city’s Granby-Toxteth district cost £118,000 to £122,000. 

Among those doing their 500 hour stints is social worker Joyce Msiska, who’s lived in Liverpool for 20 years. “The idea that I could use the only thing I have – my energy – as a resource, that my own ‘sweat equity’ could get me a stake in my own home, was a godsend. I work hard but have not been able to save enough for a deposit, but because of this scheme I will now be able to own my own home and improve my life and that of my family” she says.

Youth worker Kieran Bohan, says; "When I moved to Liverpool 12 years ago to do a course and start a new career, it would have been a great time to get a mortgage but as a student I couldn't do it. Since then Liverpool has boomed and so have the property prices, but our salaries haven't. This is the best chance we have of getting a house and we can really take ownership of our own home and neighbourhood by working together to build it."

HPBC says anyone willing to undertake this sweat equity - the firm calls these people ‘home partners’ - should live or work in the Liverpool area or have strong family connections with the area. 

They must be willing and able to give 500 hours of their time and be in a financial position to obtain a mortgage. Shared ownership mortgages are available with Sanctuary Group collecting a 2.75% annual rent (charged monthly) on any residual equity in the property.

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