Helping hand onto the housing ladder in Lincoln

A council-run scheme has helped 44 people to take their first step onto the property ladder in Lincoln.

Run by the city council with Lloyds TSB, the Local Lend A Hand Mortgage Scheme means first time buyers only need a five per cent deposit, with the council guaranteeing a further 20 per cent, giving them access to lower mortgage rates.

Over the first phase of the scheme the council has supported one loan every fortnight and members of the Executive Committee will consider earmarking a further £1 million to extend the scheme.

Council Leader Ric Metcalfe says: “We are extremely pleased with the success of the scheme, especially as we exceeded our target of supporting 38 house-buyers.

“Unfortunately, there are currently no lenders willing to take part in the scheme due to the Government’s Help to Buy initiative, which offers similar advantages. However, the local authority scheme offers the most favourable interest rates on mortgages and we are hopeful we may be able to relaunch the scheme in the future.

“This scheme has been a real help to people who could afford a mortgage but were struggling to save a big enough deposit to buy a house. By helping people take that first step onto the ladder, we are also helping the local housing market and the local economy, through spend on solicitors, removals, painting and decorating and buying furniture for the house.”

During the first phase of the scheme the council has provided indemnity of £846,000. House purchases supported by the scheme represent a total spend of £4.6 million on property within Lincoln and £4.4 million on mortgage lending.

At tonight’s meeting the Executive Committee will consider whether to retain a further £1 million, subject to a willing lender coming forward.