More than 7,000 Armed Forces personnel have been helped on the housing ladder by a Government scheme, new figures have revealed.
In little more than two years since its launch in April 2014, statistics for May 2016 show that 7,260 personnel have now benefitted from payments received under Forces Help to Buy (FHTB). The vast majority of these (78%) have been non-officers.
With an average of £15,200 borrowed interest-free by each successful applicant, over £110 million has now been paid out through FHTB.
The enduring popularity of the scheme is also reflected in the figures, which reveal that the number of new applications in May (729) was at its highest level since the first two months after launch.
Overall, more than 15,000 applications have been received and 9,500 of these have progressed to the second stage of detailed checks.
Through FHTB regular personnel can borrow up to 50% of their salary, capped at £25,000, to buy their first home, extend their current one or move to another property. The loan can be used towards a deposit and other costs such as solicitor and estate agent fees.
Under the Armed Forces Covenant, the MOD is committed to making sure those who serve are treated fairly and that the nature of their careers does not prevent them from buying a home.
Historically, Armed Forces personnel have seen lower levels of home ownership than the wider population – a situation FHTB seeks to address.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“Members of our Armed Forces are no different to their civilian counterparts in wanting to get on the property ladder. Thousands of personnel are now benefitting from this scheme and gaining the stability that owning your own home provides.”