Council abandons housing scheme

Nottinghamshire County Council has abandoned plans to extend a scheme to provide low-cost mortgages to first-time buyers, after Lloyds Banking Group announced they were suspending their involvement.

The council-funded scheme, called Local Lend-a-Hand mortgages, has helped around 100 first-time buyers with their deposit since its launch in February, the authority said.

But Loyds announced this week that they would not be committing to any new schemes because of a possible conflict with the Government’s Help to Buy drive, due to be launched in January 2014.

Councillor David Kirkham, from the authority, said: “Whilst we understand that it is likely local schemes will potentially be superseded by the Government’s Help to Buy mortgages, we are extremely disappointed that Lloyds has decided to suspend local schemes more than three months before the new arrangements are in place.

“The scheme has been extremely successful in Nottinghamshire, giving the local housing market a much-needed kick start and making a first home possible for individuals, couples and families who were struggling to get on the housing ladder.”