HC Deb 08 January 2004 vol 416 c484W
Mr. Dhanda

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to extend the Starter Home Initiative for key health workers; and if he will take steps to ensure that a wider range of health care professionals working in the NHS, including radiographers, are eligible. [146495]

Keith Hill

Under the Starter Home Initiative, assistance is available to a wide range of health staff including radiographers. Priorities for assistance depend upon the recruitment and retention difficulties being experienced. From 1 April 2004, a new key worker programme will succeed the Starter Home Initiative. This will provide assistance to first time buyers and existing homeowners who need to move to a larger home. It will also provide homes for key workers at below market rents. Funding will be targeted in areas where the high cost of housing is undermining recruitment and retention. Full details of the new programme, including the eligible key worker groups, will be announced by the beginning of March. Employer contributions will supplement assistance under the new programme.