Cautious welcome for mortgage to rent scheme

Scottish councils and housing organisations have given a
cautious welcome to new proposals by the Scottish executive to prevent people
in arrears with their mortgages from eviction and possible homelessness.

The Mortgage to Rent (MTR) scheme will be
funded by the Scottish executive to the tune of £9 million over three
years.  Housing agencies will be
empowered to buy over properties and rent them back to the previous owners.

In launching the scheme, Jackie Baillie,
minister for social justice, said: 
“Repossession is a personal tragedy for the individuals and families
involved.”  Baillie said that the MTR
scheme, under the management of a national coordinator to be appointed soon,
would counter repossession and avoid the threat of homelessness for thousands
of Scottish families each year. 

However, the Convention of Scottish Local
Authorities’ housing spokesperson, Michael McGlynn, commented:  “Much work remains to be done before this
scheme is capable of being introduced and we have requested discussions with
the executive to develop details of the proposals.”

Alan Ferguson, director of the Chartered
Institute of Housing in Scotland, welcomed the scheme but urged that “it must
be developed to assist the widest possible audience and share Cosla’s
commitment to working to ensure that it actually delivers when it is ready to
be launched”.

Rob Hughes, membership and policy manager of
the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, echoed the views of Cosla and
CIH in Scotland.  Hughes welcomed the
MTR initiative but said “it must be given strategic support and details must be
fully investigated”.

The organisations are requesting an early
meeting with the Scottish executive.


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