Wales in extraordinary move to help homeowners pay their mortgages

Housing Minister Julie James says interest-free loans will help home owners reduce their overall debt and, therefore, monthly repayments.

julie james mortgages

Estate agents worried about the impact of the stuttering economy on the housing market have been given some cheer after the Welsh housing minister launched a scheme to help struggling homeowners pay their mortgages.

Member of the Senedd and housing minister Julie James (main picture) has revealed that she is to make £40 million available for those unable to meet their mortgage payments in the form of zero-interest loans that do not have to be repaid for two years.

The scheme, which has prompted some opposition Conservative members of the Senedd to say governments should play ‘no part’ in helping to pay people’s mortgages, is a significant expansion of a previous scheme, and will be called Help to Stay.

It will cover homes worth less than £300,000 where the household income is less £67,000 and excludes properties rented out by landlords.

Debt relief

Previously, homeowners had to be facing eviction to qualify for support from other debt relief schemes, but now Help to Stay will include those are proven to be in financial hardship.

The scheme is only available for eligible households who have explored all other measures offered by the mortgage provider through the UK mortgage charter and sought help through debt advice services.

Home owners who are eligible will receive free mortgage advice from debt advisers, with the costs fully covered by the Welsh Government.

“This will ensure the applicant has received independent advice as to the options available, confirm that all other avenues had been exhausted, and verify the levels of debt service the applicant could reasonably afford based on a review of their current circumstances,” says James.

Full guidance on the scheme, including the eligibility criteria, is now available on the Welsh Government website.

Read more about other housing market schemes launched recently by the Welsh Government.

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