MORE than 30 people in the county have been able to get onto the property ladder thanks to the government's Help to Buy scheme.

Figures released this week show that by May 31 this year, 31 people in Herefordshire had been able to buy their own home.

The Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme enables people to buy a newly-built home with a deposit of at least 5% of the property price, while the government offers a loan of up to 20%.

The rest is covered by a mortgage. This portion of the scheme has been extended up to March 2020 with a further £6billion – meaning the scheme will support the construction of up to 200,000 new homes.

“I am encouraged that 31 people in Herefordshire have taken advantage of this government scheme and now own their own homes," said Bill Wiggin, MP for north Herefordshire.

"This scheme is playing a key role in the government’s long-term economic plan, both helping people buy their own home and also boosting housebuilding and creating jobs in construction."

Ross Abell, 25, bought a house with his girlfriend in Holmer, Hereford, in April this year.

"I think the scheme helped us get onto the property ladder earlier than we first thought and by being able to put down a smaller deposit it allowed us to have the money to pay all the legal fees, including stamp duty.

"It also made the mortgage payments manageable so that we could have some money to put toward things to go in the house," he said.

Samuel Cooke, 26, who is originally from Herefordshire is also looking to get onto the property ladder by buying his first home with girlfriend Natalie in Exeter.

He said the scheme strikes a "good balance" between excessive, irresponsible lending and overly cautious lending.

"In terms of benefits, it's allowed people like myself and my girlfriend Natalie, who earn enough to comfortably pay a mortgage but didn't quite have a big enough deposit, to buy a house," said Mr Cooke, who is an education recruitment consultant.

"I think the type of people who use it have some deposit and earn enough to pay a mortgage and it allows the banks to lend to those people without too much risk. It's also good for government income as they own 20% of the house, so if it was sold later on for a higher price after five years, they get a return on investment, which I see as a fair reimbursement for us being able to buy a house that we previously wouldn't have been able to.

"It's also working out cheaper than renting, thus avoiding paying someone else's mortgage or the unnecessary estate agent fees for rents."

Anyone wishing to find out more about the scheme can visit you