Councillors to discuss extending mortgage scheme to help older homeowners
PR ref: 6182
Wakefield councillors are to
discuss extending a mortgage support scheme to offer advice to older residents
at risk of losing their homes.
Concerns have been raised
that some older people in the district with interest only mortgages do not have
the money to pay back some, or all, of the money they originally borrowed, at
the end of their term. These residents are not eligible for help under the
current project. This means they could face repossession and eviction.
Councillors meeting on March
8 are being asked to consider a recommendation to help residents by extending
the Council’s Mortgage Breathing Space scheme.
The programme was originally
set up to help people in sudden financial difficulties, through illness, or the
loss of a job, to get an interest and repayment free secured loan to clear
arrears on mortgages. Giving help in this way gives time for owners to
consider their alternatives and plan.
It is now being proposed that
the scheme is extended to include homeowners aged 55 and over.
A loan could help stave off
the immediate threat of eviction, and would give people time to consider their
options such as repaying the loan, selling their property or using an equity
release scheme to stay in their home.
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Cabinet
Member for Economic Growth and Skills said: “It is a concern that older people
in our district could be at risk of losing their homes.
“Councillors will consider if
extending the scheme would help people facing such a traumatic situation and
also as a way of preventing homelessness.”
The recommendation to
councillors is that anyone applying for a Breathing Space loan would need to
receive independent financial advice before their application was accepted.
This is so they can consider their longer term options.