South Lakeland District Council are being asked to consider investing £1million in a Local Authority Mortgage Scheme (LAMS) by 25 year old Councillor, Ben Berry.
He cites his own problems of saving a deposit as inspiration for proposing the scheme.
“There are so many hard working young people out there that are stuck in the rent trap struggling to save money for a deposit. What this scheme does is give a hand up to those people, whilst making an excellent use of the investment funds that the Council already has.”
The combination of relatively high house prices and caution over lending from banks and building societies has meant that many potential first-time buyers, including those on council housing waiting lists or those currently occupying affordable or social housing units, are unable to save a sufficient deposit, even though they could afford mortgage repayments on a typical first home.
A LAMS initiative is designed to bridge that gap with an aim that SLDC will be able to both free up affordable or social housing for those that can’t afford to make mortgage repayments and reduce payouts to private landlords and expensive short-term accommodation.
The initiative sees local authorities acting as guarantors for first time buyers, to bridge the gap in interest rates between the cost of a typical 75% and 95% loan to value mortgage offered by banks and other lenders.
Ben says the objective is to see more people able to take the step of buying their first home, thus stimulating the local housing market and benefitting the wider local economy.
LAMS is a national scheme available to authorities and has already been taken up by several Authorities across the country.