By Lucy Ashton
Jackie Baillie has backed Scottish Labour’s plans to help people at risk of losing their homes as mortgage costs spiral.
Soaring interest rates caused by Tory economic mismanagement risk triggering a wave of mortgage arrears and potential repossessions – but support for struggling homeowners remains woeful.
Labour is calling for a relaunch and revamp of the Scottish Mortgage to Shared Equity scheme so that homeowners struggling with soaring mortgage costs can reduce their monthly repayments through the Scottish Government taking a temporary equity share in their home.
The current Mortgage to Shared Equity Scheme has not had a single successful applicant since 2015/16, while the SNP’s other support scheme for homeowners has been beset by low uptake and severe delays.
Labour’s proposals would revamp these schemes by extending eligibility and reducing application turnarounds, so they act as a real safety net during the cost of living crisis.
This intervention follows Scottish Labour’s success securing a rent freeze and evictions ban for tenants.
Jackie Baillie, right, said: “The cost of living crisis has pushed the price of energy, fuel and food through the roof. For homeowners, they are also being hit with a Tory premium on their mortgages which will push some people to the brink.
“Labour have led the way from opposition by securing a rent freeze and evictions ban for tenants. It’s important that help is extended to homeowners facing the very real prospect of losing their home due to the rising costs.
“With homelessness rates across West Dunbartonshire at the highest level of all local authorities in Scotland, forcing more people out of their homes is not a risk we can afford to take. Sadly, both of our governments have failed to step up and make a difference.
“The Tories need to fix the mess they have made, but it is not enough for the SNP to criticise from the sidelines.
“They need to stop spinning the same lines about cash allocation from Westminster and use the powers we have here in Scotland now to help people keep their own homes.”