Mortgage scheme extension

MORE people would be helped onto the housing ladder with the planned extension of the Local Authority Mortgage Scheme (LAMS).

Hastings Borough Council has agreed two such schemes to date, which have involved the council placing a total of £2 million with Lloyds bank to top up the deposits of first time buyers.

Thirty-seven people were helped by the first scheme, while the second, launched in March this year is attracting considerable interest, and almost a third of the available money had already been earmarked as of May 2013.

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) has identified £10 million to enable the scheme to be extended, across Sussex.

At the cabinet meeting on Monday (July 8) it was agreed to recommend to full council that the borough council would work in partnership with ESCC to agree an additional £1 million from this £10 million pot to extend the scheme in Hastings.

Hastings Borough Council was the first local authority in the south-east to sign up to the scheme, which has, as of March this year, been adopted by 93 local authorities.

Councillor Kim Forward, lead member for housing and community services, said: “We are really proud that we were the first local authority in the south east to sign up to the mortgage scheme.

“Working in partnership with ESCC will enable even more people to own their own home.”

The scheme is targeted at first-time buyers who can afford mortgage repayments but not the initial deposit.