Council looks set to help more onto property ladder

A SCHEME which has helped around 40 people onto the property ladder looks likely to be extended by the council.

The Local Authority Mortgage Scheme (LAMS) launched in January this year, and saw Hastings Borough Council place £1 million with Lloyds bank to ‘top up’ the deposits of first time buyers.

The £1 million pot was exhausted by August, and at the cabinet meeting on Monday (November 5) councillors will vote on whether to extend the scheme.

A report by Peter Grace, head of finance at Hastings Borough Council, recommends that the council provides an additional £1 million to extend the scheme.

In September 2009 Sector Treasury Services set up a pilot to assess the viability of the LAMS, to which 11 local authorities signed up.

InOctober 2011, Hastings was the first local authority in the south-east to sign up to the LAMS.

Around 40 people/households have been helped onto the property ladder.

As of August 15 there were 27 similar schemes live across the country.

The scheme is targeted at first-time buyers who can afford mortgage repayments but not the initial deposit, aiming to increase the supply of affordable housing for those who need it.

In May the Observer reported that Sarah Burkin and her fiance Shaun Smith were among the first in Hastings to purchase a home through the initiative.