VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 6/25/2011
A short guide for people with mortgage or rent payment problems Housing Options Services The Council’s Housing Options Service provides advice and assistance for people with housing problems. Housing advice is available to help people with rent or mortgage difficulties and also for people who are homeless or risk becoming homeless. The Housing Options Service, in association with Orbit First Step, King’s Lynn CAB and SHELTER Norfolk, helps with the operation of the schemes outlined in this leaflet. The Council also operates a range of initiatives aimed at preventing homelessness. The Housing Options Service offers advice and assistance to help people with: • help to find private rented housing, • affordability and debt problems, • people with housing support needs, • people at risk of domestic abuse, • working with a landlord and tenant to prevent eviction, • loans and grants. Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme (SMI) The Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme meets some or all of the interest payments on a mortgage for those on Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or State Pension Credit. The waiting time before the assistance starts has been reduced from 39 weeks to 13 weeks and the capital limit has been increased from £100,000 to £200,000 for new working-age claims. The scheme may also be useful for shared owners and leaseholders who are facing difficulty in making mortgage payments. • For more information on SMI, visit the Jobcentre Plus website at www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk (leaflet IS8), • Visit the local Jobcentre Plus office for further advice and information. Homeowners Mortgage Support (HMS) Homeowner Mortgage Support (HMS) is support for homeowners who risk repossession because they’ve recently experienced a sharp but temporary drop in income, perhaps because they have had overtime cut or hours reduced. It is a last resort, after people have explored all other options with their lender. HMS enables a homeowner to postpone part of the interest payment on their mortgage for up to two years. The money postponed is added on to the remaining balance of the mortgage, to be paid back when their situation improves. Not all lenders are signed up to the scheme so check with your lender. To be eligible you must: • Talk to your lender to see how they can help. • Talk to SHELTER for more information on how to apply for help. Check out the information on HMS at www.direct.gov.uk/hms Mortgage Rescue Scheme (MRS) The Mortgage Rescue Scheme offers two products. The ‘Mortgage to Rent’ option is aimed at those with a mortgage (and secured debts) of no more than 120% and no less than 75% of the current value – basically, you sell your home to Orbit First Step and rent it back from them; and ‘Shared Equity’ is aimed at those who have at least 25% but no more than 40% equity in their property and who would be able to sustain home ownership if part of their current mortgage was redeemed with the help of an equity loan. To be eligible for consideration you must have talked to your lender (if you haven’t already) to see what help they can offer. And: • All enquiries about accessing the scheme should be made through the Housing Options Service or partner agencies (e.g. CAB or SHELTER). • The scheme is delivered through Orbit First Step – a housing association specialising in mortgage rescues. • You must seek help with your finances from CAB Money Advice. • Check out the information on MRS on www.direct.gov.uk website. • The scheme is not available to owners in shared ownership arrangements. Repossession Prevention Fund The Repossessions Prevention Fund is aimed at households who risk eviction or repossession. Loans of up to £3,000 can be used reasonably flexibly to prevent repossessions for eligible households. Need more advice? If you need more information about any of these services, contact the Council on 01553 616675 or call in to the Council offices in King’s Lynn and ask to see a Housing Options Adviser.
"A short guide for people with mortgage or rent problems"