People looking to get on the property ladder are being offered a helping hand by West Oxfordshire District Council.
Through the Local Authority Partnership Purchase Scheme (LAPP) individuals can buy a share in a home with the council purchasing the rest. Occupiers then pay rent to the council to cover its stake.
The LAPP scheme is for those who can afford mortgage repayments but can’t meet the cost of a deposit on a property.
For example, an individual can buy a 70 per cent share in a property using a mortgage of up to 90 per cent loan to value. The Council will buy the remaining 30 per cent, subject to an independent valuation done by a surveyor it will appoint.
The Council’s Finance Management Overview & Scrutiny Committee instigated the new scheme after researching alternative ways of providing affordable housing.
Cllr Peter Emery, the Overview & Scrutiny committee chair, said: “We were keen to explore different ways of helping people become first-time home owners and came upon the recent very successful LAPP model.”
“We liked the fact that potential buyers can purchase a house on the open market up to the value of £375,000 and they are not restricted to choosing from designated properties or sites. And, as someone who was helped onto the housing ladder by a local authority mortgage in 1974, I am delighted to see this plan come to fruition.”
West Oxfordshire District Council is investing around £500,000 into the LAPP, which will be the first of its kind in Oxfordshire and the second in the south east region.
Cllr Toby Morris, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “We know how difficult it can be for people to buy their own home in West Oxfordshire given how high house prices are.
“This innovative scheme could help make the difference between renting and ownership and allow people to really put down roots in the District.”
Each applicant will be assessed and awarded points based on a range of criteria focusing on local residents, key workers, those with dependents and applicants in social housing or on the council’s housing waiting list.
Applications for a LAPP mortgage can be made from 21 August. Further details will be online at www.westoxon.gov.uk/lapp