Help to Buy gets 5,000 service people on the property ladder

Thousands of troops and their families have bought their own home as a result of the successful home-buying scheme Forces Help to Buy, according to latest government figures.

The MOD has loaned £75.7m to around 5,000 applicants within the last 18 months. And a further 1,900 personnel have had their applications approved and are awaiting completion of property purchases.

Forces Help to Buy allows military personnel to borrow a deposit of up to half of their annual salary towards buying a home and has proved most popular with those between the ages of 20 and 39. More than three quarters of recipients so far are non-officers. The £200m scheme is now half-way through its three-year trial.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "We are making sure that the unsung heroes, our service families, can enjoy the stability and security of owning their home. As of today, our Forces’ Help to Buy scheme has enabled five thousand people to buy their home: I want to double that to ten thousand ‘homes for heroes’ in the next 12 months."

The scheme was designed to provide more support to personnel than its predecessor, the Long Service Advance of Pay, as it offers larger loans and is easier to apply for, particularly for those overseas.

Regular personnel can borrow up to 50% of their salary (capped at £25,000), interest free, to buy their first home, extend their current one or move to another property on assignment or as their needs change. The loan can be used towards a deposit and other costs such as solicitor’s and estate agent’s fees.

Forces Help to Buy is part of the New Employment Model (NEM), which is a long-term programme that aims to modernise the terms and conditions of service ‘offer’ for personnel so it better reflects the needs and aspirations of service personnel, and their families, in the 21st century.

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