Elderly and vulnerable people who need vital repairs to their homes but lack the cash to fix things could end up paying thousands of pounds in Interest or even losing their homes thanks to a scheme sponsored by Eastleigh Borough Council and the Portsmouth Area Regeneration Trust. (PART).
Often the elderly or those on a low income are unable to borrow money from the bank as they are viewed as a bad risk and so turn to their council for help but while many other councils offer needy people grants in order to carry out essential maintenance and improvements – like fixing leaking roofs or replacing rotting window frames with double glazing – Eastleigh Borough Council refer them to a moneylender instead.
N.B Eastleigh News readers will recall that when the Rose Bowl cricket ground was unable to borrow money from the bank the council stepped in with £32 million of taxpayer’s money.
‘South Coast Moneyline’ is the trading name for ‘PART’ and they offer homeowner clients who have referred by local councils fixed rate loans to carry out the repairs and improvements needed to bring their property to a decent standard.
Interest only mortgages are being offered to elderly clients with no hope of ever clearing the debt.
Even if the applicant is unable to afford the monthly repayments the interest can be rolled into the capital.
The figures on the Home trust loan website show a 60 year old who borrowed £15k on an ‘Interest roll up’ basis would end up owing the company a staggering £67,000 by the time they were 90.
As the homes are remortgaged if the borrower runs into further financial difficulties and are unable to meet repayments – they could end up losing their homes.
One elderly Eastleigh resident who has remortgaged her home is Mrs Skilton, aged 78, from Swaythling:
“I was dubious at first. You hear lots of things about heavy-handed loan companies and I feared I wouldn’t be able to afford the monthly repayments. But as it was recommended by the council, I decided to find out more and I was really surprised to learn how affordable it was.”
Eastleigh Borough Council’s Cabinet Lead for Housing and Customer Services Cllr Anne Winstanley, commented:
“I am pleased that we were able to help Mrs Skilton improve her home with advice and a safe and affordable home loan. I would encourage other people to discover how they could benefit from a Home Trust Loan.”
Thanks to the Home Trust Loan, Mrs Skilton was able to have her roof fixed and now has to back the interest each month for the rest of her life.
The loan capital is paid back whenever her house is sold. “I’ve no plans to move,” says Mrs Skilton, “so that suits me down to the ground.”
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