Welcome help for homebuyers

Date: Tuesday 12th March 2019

A “MORTGAGE boost” scheme is being relaunched by Eden Council and Penrith Building Society with the aim of helping aspiring homeowners get their feet on the property ladder, it has been announced.

The scheme cuts the size of the deposit needed to buy a property and covers some of the essential costs associated with a house purchase.

In an area such as Eden, where average incomes are relatively low when set against average property prices, the scheme will come as a welcome leg up for some residents.

It is open to both first time buyers and those who have previously owned a property.

It is one more measure — alongside ensuring a supply of affordable homes — to help some people with limited incomes purchase their own properties.

Described by district council leader Kevin Beaty as “useful”, it is a practical example of the council teaming up constructively with a locally-based building society to the benefit of those living and working in Eden, and is to be applauded.

Another local authority —Penrith Town Council — has this week come in for strong criticism from two former councillors, who claim it is culturally “secretive” and overly bureaucratic to the point that it achieves little.

They question whether the council is “fit for purpose”, and say an oversight body should be called in to review the situation.

These are troubling allegations that demand scrutiny. Taxpayers in Penrith need to know their town council is providing good value for money, and bringing clear benefits for those whom it was set up to serve.