Sussex

Hastings council launches Lend A Hand home scheme

First-time house buyers in Hastings are being offered help with purchasing a home under a scheme operated by Lloyds TSB and the borough council.

Under the "Lend A Hand" scheme, house buyers put down a deposit of 5% and the council guarantees a further 20% of the mortgage amount.

Other Lend A Hand initiatives already operate across the UK.

Council leader Jeremy Birch said it would help people who would not normally be able to own their own home.

He said the council would make interest on money that went to the bank as security, and the scheme would not affect the council's day-to-day budget.

The local authority hopes to help up to 50 residents buy their own properties under the plan.

House buyers will be able to choose a property in the local area up to a maximum loan of £150,000.

The council said the buyers would own their properties and have access to a range of financial products at a lower rate of interest than is normally available for a 5% deposit.

In the event of repossession, the bank will use council funds to make up the shortfall, it added.

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