£15m hope for first-time buyers as Notts County Council lends money for deposits
MORE than 500 first-time buyers could be helped on to the property ladder after a £15 million scheme was launched in Notts.
Notts County Council has set aside the cash for the Local Lend a Hand scheme, which will be available in branches of Lloyds, TSB across Notts.
Under the scheme the authority will lend people money for their deposits – if they can stump up the first five per cent.
It is capped at houses priced at £150,000 or less, and people must pay back the money within five years.
Brian Maguire, 26, rents a property in Musters Road, West Bridgford, with his wife Claire, 25.
"Money is getting tighter and tighter really, what with food, bills and rent," he said.
"One day we want to own our own place, but a lot of what we earn gets spent on other things. A little leg-up would be useful."
According to Right Move, the current average property price in Notts is £122,368.
For a property of that value, under the new scheme people would need to pay £6,118, with the county council providing the remaining £24,473 needed for a 25 per cent deposit.
Councillor Reg Adair, chairman of the finance and property committee at Notts County Council, said the scheme would be a huge help to people trying to buy their first home. "The Local Lend a Hand scheme will make a dream home a reality for more than 500 individuals, couples or families," he said.
"It's good news for taxpayers too – not only is it a safe investment, it will stimulate home ownership and benefit numerous businesses that rely on a thriving housing market.
"We believe the level of funding we are proposing to put behind the scheme will make it the biggest of its type in the country."
Stephen Noakes, mortgages director at Lloyds TSB, said: "With the launch of Local Lend a Hand in Notts we're making the housing market more accessible to more people.
"We know that many young people turn to the Bank of Mum and Dad to get their foot on the ladder, but that is not a solution for everyone.
"Helping people to buy their first home is crucial in achieving and maintaining a sustainable housing market."
Lloyds TSB worked with Sector Treasury Services, part of the Capita Group, on the scheme. Director Cecilie Booth said: "Many potential first-time buyers in Notts, including those on council housing registers or currently occupying rented housing, are unable to save a sufficient deposit, even though they could afford mortgage repayments on a typical first home.
"The initiative is designed to bridge that gap."