Disabled people and others receiving Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) will now be able to transfer this support to their new property when moving home.
This is rather than having to repay the loan and reapply.
SMI is the help offered by government to owner-occupiers in times of need. It is paid as a loan and contributes towards the interest on people’s mortgages if they are in receipt of certain benefits, to protect them against repossession and keep them in their own homes.
Previously, those receiving an SMI loan were required to repay the balance once a property is sold or transferred, provided there is enough equity after the mortgage has been paid off. They would then be asked to reapply for the loan on their new property.
However, the Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Will Quince, has confirmed that anyone with an SMI loan secured against their property will now be able to request their loan balance to be transferred to their new home when they move.
The government claims its policy shift will ensure those looking to move home to secure better employment will not face barriers to progressing in work.
It says this change will have a particular benefit for those who move into a new property due to a disability or health condition, as they will continue to receive uninterrupted support towards their mortgage payments.
Quince said: “This measure helps some of the most vulnerable people to stay in their homes and live independently. And we are now making it easier for people to keep this support, even when moving house.”