Anas Sarwar wants the Scottish Government to offer to take equity in people’s homes to prevent them from facing repossession if they can’t afford their mortgage.

The Scottish Labour leader said rising interest rates, on top of increased energy, fuel and food costs could lead to mortgage arrears and homelessness.

He said help for homeowners is “woeful” and has said the Scottish Mortgage to Shared Equity Scheme should be relaunched to help people keep their homes.

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Sarwar said Labour’s ‘mortgage rescue scheme’ allows the government to take equity and owners can pay it back when they can afford it.

He said the government doesn’t make any money out of taking equity and up to £50m should be allocated to provide the help.

Sarwar said: “We have seen interest rates rise and mortgage rates rise.

“Rising fuel costs, rising food costs and now mortgages are going up. We have also got to recognise the cost of living crisis is impacting on homeowners.

“This is a really serious time for people across the country. People are paying a Tory premium on their mortgages and people are struggling to make ends meet.

“We cannot allow people to lose their homes.”

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He said the Scottish Government was right to put in place the winter evictions ban for the rented sector and that this would give homeowners similar help.

Sarwar said there is existing funding of around £20m in the housing budget that should be used first.

He said: “The challenge is people don’t want to lose their home and this is a sensible approach where the government takes an equity stake to bring down your monthly repayments to get you through this period and people can buy back that equity stake.

“The government is not making any money from it, far from it, it is giving support to allow people to keep their home.”