Today’s announcement that the Council is going to do something really positive to help first time buyers get onto the housing ladder is something that I am very proud to be part of.
Owning a home of your own is very special, but sadly for many young couples the idea is nothing more than pie in the sky because there is no way that they can raise the £20,000 or more that they need for a deposit.
When I started looking into how the Council might be able to find a local answer to this national problem I became very frustrated.
What I discovered was that although Lincolnshire is a relatively low wage area, lots of local people who want to buy a house could manage their monthly mortgage repayments quite easily, but are totally defeated by the 20% deposit demanded by lenders.
I believe as many people as possible in South Kesteven should be able to own their own home if they want to and can afford to.
But local home ownership for first-time buyers is largely restricted to those who are either relatively rich or have parents who are able to make huge contributions.
This cannot be right.
So the Council is going to make a total of £5 million available (£1 million in the first year) to reduce the deposit needed by first time buyers and so give many people the opportunity to make their dreams come true.
As an added bonus this initiative will stimulate the rest of the local housing market as a whole, and if people currently living in council accommodation take advantage of the scheme, it will ease the pressure on our housing list too.
Of course, there is some risk in what we are doing. But it is a very small risk and local people will gain so much that the argument is irresistible.
That is why I am totally convinced we are doing the right thing and why I will be so excited when the first local people move into their new home thanks to this new scheme – something that would not have been possible without the Council’s help.
by Linda Neal, SKDC Leader