209A scheme that has been helping Hambleton residents at risk of losing their homes for the last three years has received further backing by councillors.

The mortgage ‘Breathing Space’ project can offer interest free secured loans to clear mortgage and secured loan arrears – as well as 12 months forward payments. It helps homeowners in financial difficulties to stay in their homes – and where not possible, through controlled moves in order to retain equity in their property.

It has helped four households in Hambleton since 2013 – and many more across Yorkshire and the Humber. And now it has been extended to cover Hambleton people over the age of 55.

“This scheme is not only a better solution for the homeowner but it is also more cost effective for the council when it is dealing with the effects of homelessness,” said Cabinet Member,

Councillor Brian Phillips.

“It helps them stave off repossession and prevents homelessness – which will in turn reduce the number of approaches to the council. It has already been very successful but by extending it to cover people over the age of 55 we will be able to help even more people, and people that find it harder to access credit due to their age.”

The District Council is a partner in the scheme which is administered by Wakefield Council – it initially received a ring fenced grant of £2m for the Yorkshire and Humber scheme. There is currently £907,000 in the pot – with £526,000 out in loans. Repayments are added back into the funding pot.

Members of Hambleton’s Cabinet agreed to the extension to the current scheme when they met on July 5.

For more information on the scheme contact the Hambleton Housing Options Service on 01609 779977