More support for Scottish homeowners

The fund will build on and improve the existing Mortgage to Rent scheme, and include a new Mortgage to Shared Equity scheme.

Those eligible for Mortgage to Shared Equity will retain ownership of their home and enter into a shared equity agreement with the Scottish Government, having had their secured debt reduced to a manageable level.

The Scottish Government also published a summary of the housing actions it has taken since last year to respond to the changing economic climate, including additional support for first-time buyers, incentives for a new generation of council housing and increased protection for home owners.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Maxwell said: "The Scottish Government is determined to help Scotland’s businesses and households deal with the impact of the economic downturn.

"That’s why we have acted swiftly and decisively to bolster the Home Owners’ Support Fund and respond to the changed economic circumstances and increased risk of repossessions.

"Today, I’m announcing an additional £5million for the Home Owners’ Support Fund, on top of the £5million I previously announced on 8 December. In total, through the fund, we will invest £35million over this year and next.

"We have instigated a series of measures that will help the housing market, the house-building sector and help ease the impact of the downturn on individual households.

"The Scottish Government has been ahead of the game compared to the position elsewhere in the UK, and I believe the package of actions announced today will provide vital support to families across Scotland struggling with mortgage repayments."

In her statement to Parliament on June 25, 2008, the Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced a package of major reforms to deliver lasting improvements to Scotland’s housing system. This included the establishment of the new Home Owners’ Support Fund.

The improved Mortgage to Rent Scheme and new Mortgage to Shared Equity Scheme will start on March 16, 2009.

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