Shadow chancellor calls for the introduction of regulated Mortgage Rescue Schemes

The Liberal Democrats have approved plans to help families who are unable to pay their mortgages and are facing homelessness.

The proposals, announced at the autumn conference in Bournemouth, aim to reduce repossessions and increase the stock of social housing.

They include:
• Introducing regulated Mortgage Rescue Schemes to allow families struggling with repayments to sell all or part of the equity in their house and rent it back from a housing association or private firm to help keep them in their home.
• Allowing councils and housing associations to borrow money to buy up land and vacant new homes for use as social housing.
• Giving courts guidelines to only allow homes to be repossessed as a last resort, making the mortgage lenders’ voluntary code binding on all lenders.

Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor, blamed the current Labour government for allowing the housing market “to boom out of control”.

Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor

He said: “Ministers should not try to turn back the tide of a housing market which needs to fall to a more affordable level.

Instead they should concern themselves with the many thousands in danger of being cast out on the street.

“Rapid action must be taken to ensure that banks only ever repossess as a last resort.”