House deposit loan scheme
PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 March 2015
FIRST-time buyers could soon be given help to find a deposit for a new home by North Somerset Council.
The authority has confirmed it is looking into a loan scheme to help people get onto the property ladder.
Speaking at the last full council meeting, council leader Nigel Ashton said: “Two weeks ago we confirmed our intention to look at a scheme to help first-time buyers with their deposits, enabling them to have a real stake in the growth of North Somerset and at the same time freeing up rental accommodation for others.
“I believe that when we have looked at the details this will be a great opportunity and I hope will receive cross-party support.”
The scheme would have a local employment and residence requirement and it is hoped the move will free up rental accommodation, fill vacant houses and enable more families to own their own homes.
Cllr Ashton added: “A scheme like this can build on the Government scheme and benefit those in North Somerset but we need to identify an area in the district to trial it and agree internally how we forward the deposit without putting too many demands on the borrower.
“What we don’t want to find is that people borrow too much. We must make sure getting people into a home of their own doesn’t mean they overreach themselves.”
According to housing charity Shelter, a family will have to save for more than 14 years for a deposit, couples without children could face nearly eight years of saving while single people could be waiting nearly 16 years until they can afford to buy.
The scheme has been welcomed by Knightstone Housing. Mike Day, director of development and home ownership, said: “We see this initiative as a positive step in the right direction, particularly considering the high levels of housing need in the district.”
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