Tuesday 26 October 2010

No extra funding for Mortgage to Rent Scheme in Scotland

The Co-ordinator of the Scottish Government's Home Owner Support Fund (HOSF) has confirmed that there will be no additional funding to the scheme to cope with the expected increase in demand following the Department of Works and Pensions cut in mortgage interest payments to unemployed homeowners.  Since earlier this month the amount of mortgage interest paid dropped from 6.08% p.a. to the Bank of England’s average monthly mortgage rate, which is currently 3.63% p.a.

GLC had cited an example of a Govan client who had received DWP interest of £742 p.m to her capital and interest mortgage, resulting in a shortfall of £376 p.m. Her family were prepared to make up that shortfall and the court action would be continued on that basis, giving her time to try and get back into work. However, due to the UK Government’s change of policy, this month the DWP reduced her ISMI to £433 p.m, resulting in a 80% increase in her shortfall to £678 p.m. She could not pay this (she received £59.49 IBJSA), nor could her family do so.

HOSF Co-ordinator Keith McDowell's said:
"Thank you for your email of 4 October to Alex Neil MSP, the Minister for Housing and Communities about the Scottish Government’s Home Owners’ Support Fund which has been passed to me for reply.

The Scottish Government is aware that people who find themselves in danger of losing their homes may still be at risk, even having successfully applied for other forms of assistance available to them. As a result, in June 2010 we reviewed the administrative procedures, application form and information leaflet to make it clear to applicants and advisers that if other forms assistance (such as Support for Mortgage Interest) do not remove the threat of repossession, applicants may still apply for assistance from the Home Owners’ Support Fund. The amended scheme literature is published on the Scottish Government website at www.scotland.gov.uk/hosf

In 2009/10 the Scottish Government helped 303 households remain in their home as a result of the Mortgage to Rent scheme with record funding of £20m. I am pleased to say that the budget for 2010/11 has remained at £20m and we aim to help similar numbers again".

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