Hundreds of thousands of families forced to remortgage homes in housing crisis – here's how to get help | The Sun

A SHOCKING 600,000 families have re-mortgaged onto higher rates in the past six months, according to new figures.

And 360,000 households have re-mortgaged onto rates more than double their original.

The stats come ahead of May’s local elections, where a soaring number of voters have found themselves locked out of Britain’s broken housing market.

The average price of a home in England is almost £300,000, shooting up to £500,000 in London.

Suffering house buyers are paying more than £4,000 more per year than they would’ve done in February 2020.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “13 years of the Tories have weakened our economy, left families worse off and dreams of home ownership destroyed.


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“The Conservatives have abandoned first-time buyers. On their watch homeownership rates have plummeted and mortgage costs have soared, and now Rishi Sunak has prioritised appeasing his own MPs over building the houses we need.”

Labour has vowed to create a first-time buyers mortgage scheme if the party wins next year’s general election.

And Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to give first-time buyers first dibs on new houses in their local area, to stop developments being grabbed by fatcat overseas buyers.

Responding to the Ms Reeves, Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen told The Sun: “Once again, Labour have failed to offer a plan on the economy – but we know they’d revert to the same old plans of more borrowing, pushing up inflation and interest rates even further.

“Interest rates are rising across the world as Central Banks respond to high inflation triggered by Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. While opposition parties shout from the side-lines, we have a plan to protect UK homeowners by halving inflation, growing the economy and reducing debt.”

Earlier this month Housing Secretary Michael Gove admitted Britain’s housing system is broken.

But he said he was “determined” to see through change.

Rishi Sunak has pledged £11.5 billion to build affordable and quality homes.

Last year he said he was “committed to making home ownership a reality for a new generation”.

A senior housing industry source told The Sun: "The government’s double whammy of the KamiKwasi budget driving up interest rates and Michael Gove’s planning reforms driving down building is being felt by families across the country.

"Report after report shows the desperate need for new homes, but it feels like this government is doing all it can to make them harder to deliver for young families and communities across the country."

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Ways to get help with housing costs as record number of landlords hike rent

Struggling households can apply for help as a record number of landlords raise their rents.

Renters are seeing a rise in rates as landlords cash in on high demand for housing.

More people are putting their house buying plans on hold and looking to stick to renting instead.

The number of landlords who put up rents at the end of a tenancy rose to the highest ever recorded, according to estate agency Hamptons.

Nationally, 58% of new contracts signed so far this year were at a higher level than the previous one.

If you're worried about making your next rent payment or concerned that you might not be able to keep a roof over your head, there are ways you can get help.

Household support fund

The Household Support Fund is available through your local council.

It is a £500 million government programme – and the councils get a slice of the funding to dish out to hard-up families in their catchment area.

Some councils are offering free cash under the scheme – which you could use to put towards your housing costs.

But the deadline to apply is looming – you have until September 30, 2022 to put in an application.

Welfare Assistance scheme

Many local councils will hand out free cash, food vouchers and help for bills to struggling families under the Welfare assistance scheme.

Some local authorities may offer to put money towards paying your rent.

For example, East Riding of Yorkshire previously handed out up to £1,000 in free cash for families to put towards this bill.

But a Sun investigation found that the help you can get under the scheme is a postcode lottery.

Some local councils don't even have a scheme in place, leaving thousands of renters unable to access the help.

But for those with a scheme in place, a spike in grants happened over the Covid crisis, with councils handing out grants soaring by 210% in some places.

Discretionary Housing Payment

If you're on Universal Credit, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with your rent.

The cash can be used to cover housing costs like putting down a deposit, and advances you'll need for moving house.

Help will be given out on a case-by-case basis, which means you're not guaranteed a set amount.

But recent research showed some councils were offering up to £4,500 to families.

Local authorities dished out a whopping £171million in Discretionary Housing Payments for the financial year ending March 2021 – up 30% the prior year at £132million.

Talk to your landlord

If you're worried you won't be able to cover your costs, you should talk to your landlord.

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By being upfront at the start, you could be more likely to renegotiate a better rate while you get yourself back up and running.

You could also ask for an affordable repayment plan to pay back what you owe.

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