Help for first time buyers in the area

Kevin Snow29th May 2013

Don’t miss your chance to get on the property ladder in Three Rivers. Hertfordshire County Council and Three Rivers District Council want to help first time buyers in the area onto the property ladder.

The Local Authority Mortgage Scheme was launched in November 2012. The County Council has set aside £12m to help hundreds of buyers onto the property ladder with a deposit of just five per cent.

The scheme has attracted 78 applications – most of which are currently being processed – and 28 families have already moved into their new homes (as of end of April 2013).

The scheme has been backed by Three Rivers and district and borough councils across the county.

Three Rivers District Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Martin Trevett, said:

"We've teamed up with the County Council and Leeds Building Society to support this scheme. With above average property prices, local people wanting to buy a home in this area can find it tough.

"As many potential buyers are house hunting in the spring and summer, now is a good time to take advantage of schemes like the Leeds' which provides practical and much needed support with getting onto the property ladder."

Subject to lenders' usual lending criteria, borrowers are able to select any existing property in the Three Rivers area up to a maximum loan of £190,000.

First-time buyers put down five per cent of the property price, and Hertfordshire County Council provides a cash backed indemnity of up to 20 per cent as additional security. The local authority then earns interest on this amount.

Chris Hayward, Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said:

"Our Local Authority Mortgage Scheme has really taken off in some parts of the county, but in others there seems to have been limited interest.

"We want to make sure that all first time buyers in Hertfordshire know about this excellent opportunity to get on the property ladder."

The first-time buyer owns the property in its entirety and will have access to a range of products at a lower rate of interest than would normally be available for this level of deposit.

Chris continued: "First-time buyers often say that raising a deposit is the biggest challenge they face when looking to take their first steps onto the property ladder.

"Hertfordshire is a great place to live but its attractiveness and location mean that it can be difficult for people to buy their first home. This scheme provides an opportunity for us to help first-time buyers, assist the local housing market and relieve some local demand for social housing."

Hertfordshire’s Local Authority Mortgage Scheme is available in Three Rivers in branches of Leeds Building Society 01923 2400 589.

While any first-time buyer with a five per cent deposit is eligible to apply, applications are subject to rigorous checking by the lenders involved, as is true of any mortgage. Applications can be turned down if the usual criteria for securing a mortgage are not met.

Background information

The Local Authority Mortgage Scheme has been developed by Sector Treasury Services, part of the Capita Group, as a result of a number of local authorities wanting to take a proactive approach to support their local area, increase the supply of affordable housing and assist first time buyers, who can afford mortgage repayments, to purchase a property. Further information about Sector Treasury Services is available on

Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council  are backing and providing support to the initiative along with other district and borough councils in Hertfordshire.