The EHS Compensation Scheme for people wishing to sell their house now, but facing difficulties is launched today (20th August).
To apply to the Exceptional Hardship Scheme call the HS2 enquiry line on 020 7944 4908 or click here to visit their website
The scheme, with a budget of £50m is completely inadequate, but of course is a drop in the ocean compared to the overall costs of HS2 and of course the envisaged total the Government will have to spend when Compulsory Purchase comes into effect after the public consulations conclude, in about a years time. Robin Leach, a Kenilworth historian recently concluded that people were treated better in 1844 (before the repeal of the Corn Laws) when the original railway was built through the town, stating; “Landowners received about £320 per acre as compensation for the loss of their land, apporaching twice its value. Compensation paid under todays ‘Exceptional Hardship Scheme’ doesn’t appear to be as generous.”
Although five different route options were suggested by transport consultants ARUP, EHS only covers the previous Governments ‘preferred route’, suggesting the public consultation on route options next year will be a sham, especially as the Government ignored the vast majority of respondents to the consultation over EHS itself.
EHS will not cover home owners living over tunnels, such as Labour leadership candidate David Milliband, and will only apply to people selling their house for the right reasons;
- Moving house because of a job.
- Selling because the owner has died.
- Having your home repossessed or being under extreme financial pressure.
- Needing to move into a larger house an enlarged family (though not due to a smaller family or divorce).
- Needing to move into sheltered accommodation, a nursing home, or in with other family members due to health issues.
- Being unable to manage a property.
To qualify, properties must have been on the market for three months. Vendors will also only qualify if no-one has offered more than 85% of unblighted market value. Even if homeowners qualify on all these counts, it will be down to an ‘independent’ panel to decide whether they will release part of the £50m budget earmarked for EHS.
In insisting that homeowners will only qualify if no-one offers 85% of the value of their house, The Government have left the window open for uncrupulous speculators. People wanting to bank a quick quid for homes falling in the 100 metre construction footprint will be able to offer 85% of value, meaning homeowners with a desperate need to sell with have to accept as this will disqualify them from getting a payout via EHS. After this, speculators will be able to sit on the property until statutory blight is in operation when the Goverment will pay the full market value, netting a tidy 17.65% on their investment.
It’s a far cry from 1844.