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By Carl Forsyth
Houses and flats are so expensive, with most homes costing upwards of �250,000. I can't see how bricks and mortar can cost a quarter of a million pounds! There should be a government scheme to help people get on the housing ladder and improve their standards of living. Homes would be built and sold at cost price (�30-�50,000) but to prevent people taking advantage of the system, have rules similar to Housing Benefit whereby you can only apply once, and only if you don't already own your own house. You would also have a contract that says that if the house is sold within a certain number of years above what it cost you (minus any improvment costs like a conservatory or loft conversion) then any "profit" must be paid back to the local authority. After the set period, no repayment would have to be made. This scheme would cut housing benefit claims because people would be paying around �350 a month on a mortgage (Which most people can afford) and it would also prevent private landlords from taking advantage of the housing benefit system by charging �1 less than the maximum housing benefit payment.

Reward: The chance to live in one of these homes. (I will pay the same as anyone else on the scheme)

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