Mortgage Rescue Scheme - Eligibility Criteria and Priority Groups
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Approval of change in Mortgage Rescue Scheme Criteria
A report by the Interim Director of Corporate Services informed the Cabinet that Wirral Council had been implementing the Government’s Mortgage Rescue Scheme since December 2008, completing seven rescues in 2009-10, 18 in 2010/11 and 7 in 2011/12, a total of 32 cases.
The level of resource available from central government for the scheme in 2011/12 had been reduced and the purpose of the report was to seek Members’ endorsement for the proposed extension to the eligibility criteria for households accessing the Mortgage Rescue Scheme.
(1) it be recommended that the Cabinet approves the proposed extension to the Mortgage Rescue Scheme eligibility criteria as detailed below;
(2) the existing eligibility criteria for the Mortgage Rescue Scheme as specified by central government are:
(a) The applicant is threatened with, or in the process of possession proceedings on a home which they own, they wish to remain in, and is their only home.
(b) All parties on the Mortgage agree to pursue Mortgage Rescue.
(c) The applicant is eligible for assistance under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.
(d) The applicant has a priority need for accommodation within the meaning of Section 189 (1) (a)-(c) of the Housing Act 1996.
(e) The gross income of the applicant’s household does not exceed £60,000.
(f) An up to date valuation of the property shows that it does not exceed £135,000 (regional property cap level)
(g) The loan to value ratio does not exceed 120% (i.e. there is no more than 20% negative equity).
(h) Mortgage Rescue would provide a housing option for the applicant that is affordable and sustainable.
(3) in addition to the existing criteria, it be recommended that all new referrals to Wirral Council Mortgage Rescue Scheme are subject to the following criteria:
(i) There are no more than three charges secured against the property as recorded on an up to date Land Registry document (many of such cases also have more than 20% negative equity).
(j) The number of bedrooms in the property does not exceed the number required by the household by more than one bedroom (exceptions can be made in the case of adapted properties or where overnight carers are required).
(k) The household’s housing or care and support needs will be difficult to meet if re-housing is sought through an alternative route for example
- Households requiring a property with at least four bedrooms or
- Cases where a member of the household has a disability where carers live close by
- Properties that have been adapted to meet a specific need of the household
(l) Households where repossession would lead to a specific difficulty (for example children in GCSE year)
(4) Applicants who do not fall into one of these criteria will not be considered for Mortgage Rescue however they will be given advice and assistance and fast tracked to CAB for money and housing advice.
Report author: Interim Director of Corporate Services
Publication date: 26/07/2011
Date of decision: 21/07/2011
Decided at meeting: 21/07/2011 - Cabinet
Effective from: 03/08/2011