The UK government has announced this that a new ‘Help to Buy’ scheme aimed at getting First Time Buyers on the property ladder will be launching next month.
Homes England has revealed that applications for the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme – which sees the government lend up to 20% (40% in London) of the cost of your newly-built home – will open on Wednesday 16th December.
First Time Buyers will be able to apply for new build homes, and it will cover the period of 2021 – 2023.
Those ready to get their foot in the housing market will need to provide a deposit of at least 5%, and the mortgage offer must be to the value of 25% or higher in order to make up the remaining amount.
No interest will be charged on the 20% loan for the first five years of owning the home.
There are also a number of eligibility requirements for the house, which states that it must be newly-built and can cost up to £600,000, and it’s also required that applicants can provide proof of the ability to afford the monthly fee and interest payments.
They must also not own any other properties, and are not permitted to sublet or rent out the property after purchasing it.
Homes can be reserved using the scheme from mid-December, allowing purchasers to collect the keys to move in to their new property from 1st April 2021.
The Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme is due to end on 31st March 2023.
Speaking about the new scheme, Robert Jenrick – Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government – said: “The government is providing more ways to help families onto the housing ladder, and provide that life-changing moment when you get the keys to your own home.
“Alongside First Homes, Shared Ownership and our £12bn investment in affordable housing, our new Help to Buy scheme will help thousands more families take their first step into a home of their own.”
Will German – Director of Help to Buy at Homes England – added: “Help to Buy has already helped more than 270,000 people into homeownership and 82% are first-time buyers. We’re pleased we can help homebuyers with smaller deposits to own a home, at a time when there are fewer options open to them.
“Housing, like most sectors, has experienced a slowdown during the COVID crisis, but Help to Buy continues to give homebuilders the confidence to keep on building at a more crucial time than ever.”
Those planning on utilising the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme are encouraged to note that Homes England will then have an entitlement to any proceeds in the future sale of the home, and will seek to take the same percentage of the profits as what it originally put in.
You can find more information about the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme via the gov.uk website here.
The ‘secret beach’ near Manchester is absolutely packed… with cows
Every year when the weather starts to warm up a bit, some of the north’s best beauty spots become overrun.
One local gem that is often plagued by crowds of people parking their cars irresponsibly and leaving litter behind is Gaddings Dam.
Tucked high on the moors above Todmorden, a stone’s throw from Manchester, it’s usually dubbed the ‘secret beach’.
The small patch of sand leading to the water has turned it into a bit of a tourist hotspot in recent years, and locals haven’t always been thrilled about it.
And today is no exception, with one person spotting that the area has become packed again, with barely a patch of beach left to sit on in the sunny weather.
The difference today is that Gaddings Dam is overrun with… cows.
Chris Barker spotted the unusual sight up between Todmorden and Walsden, saying it’s ‘not something you see every day’, which is an understatement.
He shared a photo of the bovines lounging about by the water’s edge, looking every bit like a bunch of four-legged British holidaymakers.
Of course, this shouldn’t be a great surprise to anyone, given the rural location of Gaddings Dam and the fields that wrap around it.
Iceland is giving pensioners £30 food vouchers to help with cost of living crisis
Iceland is giving pensioners in Greater Manchester vouchers worth £30 to help with food and essentials amid the rising cost of living crisis.
With inflation now at a 40-year UK high and the rising cost of living crisis continuing to make it its impact felt nationwide, Iceland has partnered with The Rothesay Foundation to launch a new voucher scheme aimed at supporting pension-aged people following the release of findings from a shocking new study.
According to The Rothesay Foundation, research by Age UK showed that 1.7 million pensioners were living in poverty in 2020/2021 – which is 15% of all pensioners.
On top of that, it’s thought that more than 770,000 pensioner households- either single people, or couples – are also missing out on Pension Credit payments too, which are worth around £1.5 billion every year.
So to help lessen the financial burden, the discount supermarket retailer has now launched the Summer Cheer campaign with over £1 million of funding from the Rothesay Foundation to provide pensioners with a voucher worth £30 that can be used to buy food and essentials.
It’s expected to help around 40,000 pensioners across the UK save on their shopping.
The voucher scheme is running up until 16 September, and additionally, it can be used in conjunction with the 10% discount for people over 60 that’s already available every Tuesday with valid ID.
Iceland’s Summer Cheer £30 voucher scheme will be available at 269 shops in 17 areas across the UK where there are said to be the “highest numbers of pensioners living in material deprivation in the country,” according to The Rothesay Foundation – and Greater Manchester has been highlighted as one of those areas.
“Since the launch of the partnership last Christmas, the cost-of-living crisis has taken hold of the UK, and now more than ever, people are struggling to access the food they need,” explained Richard Walker – Managing Director of Iceland.
“No one should ever have to worry about how they are going to eat or drink, and we hope that the support we can offer across the UK will help pensioners access and enjoy a worry-free meal during this difficult time.”
Who is eligible? And how do I apply?
Those who are eligible to take advantage of the £30 discount voucher scheme up until 16 September are people of pension age who live independently or with a carer, and who rely solely on state pensions and benefits in the UK.
To claim the £30 voucher, those eligible should call the Summer Cheer hotline on 0800 098 7877 from 9am to 5pm between Monday and Friday.