Publish date: 14th December 2010
There are a number of major factors to overcome, ranging from the political to the economic, all of which continue to take time to resolve. On top of the changes made by the Government our main lender, Kent Reliance Building Society, is also going through a period of transition thanks to its merger with JC Flowers. Although this has recently been approved by its members it still has to be authorised by the FSA (Financial Services Authority). This won’t now be completed until the first quarter of 2011.
On the positive side however we’ve recently helped to lobby the Government, asking them to review the changes that have stopped the HOLD scheme from operating. We’ve also appeared on Radio 4 to explain the implications of the changes to SMI benefits and spent many days preparing documents that set out potential new schemes for our lenders. Last week we spoke at the prestigious Learning Disability Today event in London and were overwhelmed by the support that the home ownership scheme still has and the variety of new ideas that people are looking at in order to ensure that it continues.
With this in mind we would welcome any thoughts that you might have, on a local or national level, in terms of addressing the key issue of financing the scheme. On the one hand there is the challenge of convincing lenders that this modified form of mortgage is safe and viable. Do you have a contact (at a reasonably high level) at your local bank or building society who might be open to supporting the scheme? On the other there is the issue of meeting the shortfall (both now and in the future) between the mortgage interest rate and the rate at which SMI benefit is now paid. These remain the two key stumbling blocks.
Obviously we will continue to explore every possible solution and keep you all updated through this news page. In the meantime if you have any news, views or suggestions we would be delighted to hear from you.
May we take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The MySafeHome Team
Learning Disability England and Housing LIN are writing two guides for NHS England to help people with disabilities to find the right home and they are seeking success stories.
We would like to wish all of our homeowners and supporters a very Happy New Year.
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