Tenants who are forced to pay high rents yet are unable to save to buy a house, could see their lives transformed within weeks under a Mansfield District Council scheme.
Kate Allsop, the Mayor of Mansfield, said the scheme will see some tenants eligible for a cheap loan equal to five per cent of a mortgage.
It means those who can comfortably afford repayments but do not have the lump sum required to get on the first rung of the property ladder, can finally look forward to the prospect of owning their own home.
Mrs Allsop said: “Sometimes, the amount that people pay in monthly rent can be three times as much as mortgage repayments would be. They just don’t get that opportunity to save up for all the associated costs of moving. This will be a helping hand.
“It will get people out of rented accommodation and they’ll be able to aspire.”
Mansfield Building Society will run the scheme, although interested tenants do not have to be existing customers.
An initial fund totalling about £100,000 will be available within weeks for a trial period, with the full scheme likely to be rolled out later this year.
Mrs Allsop encouraged interested tenants to make enquiries with Mansfield Building Society.
Successful applicants will be given a cut-price loan for 2.5 per cent of the total mortgage of a new property, in order to meet the cost of the deposit.
And a further 2.5 per cent of the value of the house would be leant for the purposes of removal and solicitors’ fees.
The announcement came in the Mayor’s speech at the council’s annual general meeting last night.
Mrs Allsop mentioned several times in her state of the nation-style address to councillors how much strain Whitehall budget cuts and new legislation was putting on Mansfield services.
A pilot project working with Mansfield’s rough sleepers that is now funded by the Government, and which pays for a mental health nurse and complex case worker, has been successful -
reducing the numbers from 15 people to nine.
But Mrs Allsop predicts that recent Government laws surrounding homelessness will bring “increased challenges” as the town faces “the burdens that this new legislation will place upon
However, her speech struck an optimistic note overall for the year ahead.
She said “Throughout the year, we have seen a series of specialist, themed markets and events.
“Again, these are signs of the creativity and commercial approach the council is bringing to meet the challenges of the cuts to our grant.”