US company becomes Homebuy partner
An American-owned company has become a new backer for one of the government's schemes to help low income families and key workers buy their own home.
Advantage, which was acquired by US banking giant Morgan Stanley in January, joins Halifax Bank of Scotland and Yorkshire and Nationwide building societies as government partners in the open market Homebuy scheme.
The company specialises in ‘non-conforming' mortgages for customers with a poor credit rating.
Investment from private companies is being matched by the government, which is hoping more private sector partners will come forward to increase the size of the scheme.
Once the products are available in October people who are eligible will be able to benefit from a 25 per cent ‘top-up' loan to their mortgage. It will be aimed at housing association and council tenants and those on housing waiting lists, as well as key workers and first time buyers.
Only first time buyers who have been assessed as in need of assistance by regional housing boards will qualify for the scheme. Homebuy agents will manage the scheme locally, providing a one-stop shop for potential clients.
Housing minister Yvette Cooper said: ‘As house prices have gone up, more and more families who could keep up with regular mortgage payments can't manage that first step onto the ladder. That's why we think there is scope for more private sector companies to come forward and work with us to develop shared equity schemes to help families get started.'