Belfast Telegraph

New benefit cut 'will tip homeowners into a crisis'

By Jamie Stinson

A cut to the mortgage support benefit which comes into effect today could tip some homeowners into a "crisis situation", it has been claimed.

The interest rate used to work out how much claimants can get under Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) - which helps those who are struggling to pay their mortgage - drops from 3.63% to 3.12%. The cut means someone with a £130,000 mortgage will see their benefit fall by £663 annually, mortgage debt service Housing Rights said.

The housing advice service, which works on behalf of Department for Social Development, stressed that this is a significant amount for those on a low income.

Peter McMahon of Housing Rights said: "Today's benefit reduction may tip some homeowners who are just about managing into a crisis situation that will put their home at risk.

"We would urge anyone who receives SMI, or feels they may be affected, to get in touch."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph