The the lLaunch of the Lend a Hand scheme at Lloyds Bank are, from left, mortgage adviser Michelle Williams, Joanne McKie and housing project manager Jackie Johnson. Picture by ROBIN CROSSLEY
A MORTGAGE scheme to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder has been launched by the Isle of Wight Council.
The council has lodged a £1 million indemnity fund with Lloyds Bank, which is administering the Lend a Hand scheme on the authority's behalf, to help people who can afford mortgage repayments but not an initial deposit.
First-time buyers can apply for a loan from the fund, for properties worth up to £150,000, excluding new builds, to underwrite 20 per cent of their deposit. They would contribute a minimum five per cent towards the total deposit.
It is estimated the scheme will help around 40 first-time buyers onto the housing ladder.
Isle of Wight College catering assistant Joanne, 24, and refuse collector John McKie, 25, the first couple to take advantage of the scheme, said they were excited about moving into a new home with their daughters, Tallulah, four, and Norahbella, one.
"We are living with John's parents in Newport while we save for a deposit, so this scheme is perfect for us. We were going to stay with them until next year but now we can look for a house right away. We can afford a mortgage but it's a real struggle to save enough for a deposit, so this scheme is great for us," said Joanne.
The council hopes the scheme will send ripples throughout the wider housing market and the economy generally.
Cllr Gordon Kendall, cabinet member for health, community and wellbeing, said: "With support from the Lend a Hand scheme, the deposit buyers will need to raise could be as low as five per cent — rather than a prohibitively higher figure. And mortgage payments will be more affordable, because those participating will benefit from a lower interest rate than would normally be available with a small deposit."