SMI is the help offered by government to owner-occupiers in times of need. It is paid as a loan and contributes towards the interest on people’s mortgages if they are in receipt of certain benefits, to protect them against repossession and keep them in their own homes.
This change will benefit those moving into a new property due to a disability or health condition, as they will continue to receive uninterrupted support towards their mortgage payments.
Previously, those receiving a SMI loan were required to repay the balance once a property was sold or transferred, provided there was enough equity after the mortgage was paid off.
They would then be asked to reapply for the loan on their new property.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the policy shift would ensure those looking to move home to secure better employment will not face barriers to progressing in work.
Helping vulnerable people live independently
Will Quince, minister for family support, housing and child maintenance, said this measure helps some of the most vulnerable people stay in their homes and live independently.
“And we are now making it easier for people to keep this support, even when moving house,” he added.
MySafeHome Limited managing director David Abbey said that allowing vulnerable people with disabilities to port their SMI loan reaffirmeds the government’s support for Home Ownership for people with Long-term Disabilities.
He added: “We’re delighted that this change should give many more individuals the opportunity to choose where and how they live their lives.
“The ability to transfer an SMI loan balance will also apply to those who have previously received this form of support but are no longer claiming benefits.”