Local government support for equity release: A paper for the Local Government Association/Joseph Rowntree Foundation seminar June 2007

Rachel Terry and Richard Gibson

An examination of the options for local authorities to provide support for equity release.

 Building on their 2005 report for the JRF, the authors examine in detail the range of ways in which local authorities can make it easier for older home owners to release equity in their homes to pay for additional care services or essential repairs to their home, using products, support and advice they trust and can afford. It considers:

  • Should local authorities encourage low-income older home owners to spend their own money on paying for works to their home and additional domiciliary care services? And, if so, are authorities prepared to invest considerable resources on promotion, information, guidance and support? 
  • What are the pros and cons of the three models – or variants on them – from the point of view of local authorities and of their potential users:
    • Option 1: local authorities do most of the tasks.
    • Option 2: local authorities build on existing private and third sector organisations.
    • Option 3: local authorities delegates most tasks to a national (or regional) body.
  • Are potential users likely to be reassured more successfully by loans from a national (or regional) body sponsored by local government, or by a national endorsement by local government of a product from a commercial lender?
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