Key Workers Offered a Lifeline in West London

Key workers who are struggling to get on the property ladder in West London will soon be given a second chance to fulfill their dream of home ownership, thanks to the early release of the phase two, key worker apartments at Harmony, a vibrant residential development. The homes are being offered by Notting Hill Home Ownership from 21st January 2010 and will enable buyers to secure a property, marketed at a fraction of the price compared to what they would generally pay on the open market.

Despite the recent fall in property values, the gap between house prices and the amount people can borrow continues to grow. This, along with the hefty mortgage arrangement fees involved and the need for far larger deposits has excluded those on average incomes and has left little hope for key workers in London to even consider becoming a home owner.

In fact, housing for key workers is fast becoming a major problem as hundreds of thousands of public sector workers are unable to afford a property. Teachers, nurses, social workers, policemen and other essential staff - collectively known as key workers - earn too much to qualify for social housing, but most earn too little to afford to buy a home by themselves, especially in the capital.

Someone on an annual salary of £20,000 could get a mortgage of £80,000 at a push but the average house price is now well over £260,000 according to the Land Registry of England and Wales. Key workers are therefore faced with a number of undesirable options, they can: rent privately at unsustainable levels; share housing or commute long distances to work.

However, as part of the London Wide Initiative (LWI), a government-backed scheme designed to enable key workers to buy their own homes, Notting Hill Home Ownership has provided key workers with a lifeline to buy a home in thriving West London.

Developed by Willmott Dixon Homes in partnership with Notting Hill Home Ownership, Harmony is a development of 280 mixed-tenure one, two and three-bedroom apartments set on the site of the former West Middlesex Hospital on Twickenham Road in Isleworth.

Designed to meet today's lifestyle needs, complete with thoughtful design-led interiors in a superb location, Harmony is a residential scheme perfect for those seeking practical and modern living. Through Notting Hill Home Ownership's involvement, key workers will be given a real opportunity to buy their own home, at a discounted rate, in the flourishing regeneration zone of West London.

Homes under the LWI scheme are available to key workers who live or work anywhere in London and have a household income of less than £60,000. Unlike shared ownership schemes, where purchasers pay both a mortgage on their share of the property and rent on the part retained by a landlord, key workers buying through LWI do not have to pay anything to finance the government's stake and will have 100% ownership of the property yet benefit from a significant discount off the full market value. When owners sell their home, a share of the sale proceeds will be repaid to Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) based on the current market value.

Mark Vaughan, Director of Home Ownership for Notting Hill Housing comments: "Key workers are an absolutely integral part of London's workforce and we are committed to playing a part in the provision of housing for them. The first phase at Harmony was extremely popular, with purchasers even queuing overnight in the rain to reserve a home. Due to the ongoing demand for these homes we have decided to bring forward the launch of phase two. Potential purchasers are urged to register their interest quickly as homes are available on a first come first served basis."

A total of 280 apartments are available at the development, with 80 for sale through the LWI scheme, 35 for sale through New Build HomeBuy, 59 for social rent and 106 for sale on the open market. Of the 80 key worker homes available at Harmony, there will be 32 one-bedroom, 42 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom apartments.

Offering a village-like community, Harmony benefits from the tranquility of West London and is located a short distance from Kew Gardens, Syon Park, Marble Hill, Richmond Park and the River Thames. The development is also situated a five minute walk away from Syon Lane railway station, offering trains into London Waterloo in as little as 33 minutes. Just a few minutes drive away is the A4 or the 'Golden Mile', where numerous major businesses including GlaxoSmithKline, Carphone Warehouse and BSkyB have their headquarters.

As well as the local amenities of Isleworth itself, which includes a working marina, residents of the scheme will be able to take advantage of the other nearby shopping facilities including the new Blenheim Centre in Hounslow, the quaint old streets of Richmond and, slightly further afield, the new Westfield Shopping Centre.

For further information on Harmony visit

or call Notting Hill Home Ownership on

020 8357 4444

For further information on Notting Hill Housing Group please visit:

Return to Property menu