Hundreds of buyers across Leicestershire are set to get a helping hand on to the housing ladder in the New Year

Leicestershire County Council and Lloyds TSB have joined forces to offer affordable mortgages to first-time buyers.

More than 400 families and couples are set to benefit after the council lent the bank £10 million from its reserves, allowing the bank to reduce the amount of deposit it needs from applicants. After five years the bank will repay the money, plus interest, to the council.

Subject to Lloyds TSB’s usual lending criteria, it will be able to offer mortgages of up to £142,500, with first-time buyers having to pay a deposit of just five per cent.

The council hopes the Local Lend a Hand scheme will result in a further 2,000 house moves, by freeing up houses for rent as more people buy their own homes.

By December about 10 people had bought their first homes and more than 50 mortgage applications, worth £6m, had been approved.

First-time buyer Christina East (24), of Frisby, said: “I heard about this scheme on the news and got advice. I’m so impressed that I could borrow five times my salary and only have to find a £4,000 deposit.”

l For more about the scheme, or to apply for a mortgage, see staff at Melton’s Lloyds TSB branch in Sherrard Street.

l Melton Council agreed to pump £1m into a scheme to help first-time buyers in Melton get on to the housing ladder.

Last year the council agreed to take part in Leicestershire County Council’s local authority mortgage scheme, but with the money invested by Melton Council only being used to help prospective house buyers in Melton to secure mortgages.

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