Thursday, 30 October 2008

Help with housing difficulties

I know the global banking problems are putting real pressure on some households in Crewe and Nantwich. The Government has recently announced a new £1 billion housing package offering new measures to help people struggling with their mortgages and support for first time buyers and new rules for banks to help people stay in their homes.

I wanted to make sure local people knew about the help and advice that is available.

What support can I get?

1. Help for home owners in difficulty

- Your mortgage company should first be able to discuss options for changing the terms of your mortgage if you’ve got arrears.

- If you still can’t meet your mortgage payments your local housing association can give you an equity loans or buy a share of your home to help cut your mortgage payments.

- If you do find yourself facing repossession your local council or housing association may be able to buy your home and rent it back to you.

- But the Government has also introduced new rules which mean courts expect lenders to work with you on alternatives and ensure judges are aware repossessions should be a last resort.

- If you’re out of work or getting Pension Credit you can get support with paying your mortgage interest.

- Also depending on how much money you have coming in, your age, health and the size of your family, you may also be eligible to claim Council Tax Benefit. This is a rebate or reduction on the current rate of Council Tax you pay. You can apply for Council Tax Benefit at any time by making sure that your local council is aware of your personal circumstances.

2. Help for first time buyers

- If you’re finding it hard to get on the property ladder you can get interest free loans worth 30% of the house price.
- You can get a one-year Stamp Duty holiday for all houses costing under £175,000 meaning that 50% of all house purchases will be exempt.

3. Support for social rented homes

- Labour is also bringing forward £400 million of Government spending to deliver up to 5,500 new social rented homes, at good prices, over the next eighteen months.

Where do I go for help?

Difficulty paying your Mortgage You can get specialist housing focused debt advice about how to cope from a range of sources:

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

National Debtline 0808 808 4000

Community Legal Advice (CLA) 0845 345 4345

If you are worried your house may be repossessed you can contact your local Council or housing association about the support that is available.

Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council 01270 537777

Wulvern Housing 0800 169 7351

You may be able to get help to pay your council tax - to find out if you would qualify for a reduction, simply call: 0800 99 1234

You may also be able to get support with paying your mortgage interest if you are out of work or getting Pension Credit. For more information contact Jobcentre Plus

Re mortgaging Advice

If you’re coming up to remortgage you can get help and advice on how to get the best deal. This is available through the FSA’s Moneymadeclear website.

Help from David
As Labour's local Parliamentary Spokesman I'm more than happy to help wherever I can so please do not hesitate to contact me on 07798 696 603 or by e-mail

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