A £500,000 mortgage rescue package to help people in danger of losing their homes has been agreed by Redditch Council executive committee.
The policy, together with a buy back scheme for empty properties, has been hailed as a ‘win win’ for local residents.
Described as a scheme of last resort, the policy would help people in danger of having their home re-possessed keep a roof over their heads by buying the property and then renting it back to them.
“I am incredibly proud of this.” said council Leader Bill Hartnett.
This is a win win for Redditch, we are saving people from homelessness and increasing our housing stock at the same time.
“It could be someone has lost their job, they can’t make the necessary mortgage payments, think of the stress and trauma on a couple, on their children, the fear of homelessness.” he added.
“This way a family will be saved, can continue to live in their property, as tenants, and the council gains an extra dwelling.”
He said the policy, which Redditch is going alone in running after being part of a West Midlands consortium that successfully operated it last year, would go ‘hand in glove’ with the a £500,000 buy back scheme, which would see the council buy back empty properties to add to the housing stock.
However strict eligibility rules would apply – only properties with an open market value of £130,000 or less would be considered and the home would be bought back at 90 per cent of that value.
The total earnings of the applicants couldn’t be more than £35,000 and the equity available to the applicant couldn’t be more than £16,000 while the cost of any repairs couldn’t exceed £15,000.
For the buy back scheme, the cost of repairs once again could not exceed £15,000.
The policy was put together by council officer Amanda Glennie who won recognition for her efforts as the council awards evening on Tuesday.