A government initiative to prevent struggling homeowners from losing their property only helped one borrower in April. This takes the grand total to just two since the Mortgage Rescue scheme was launched in January.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said last month, following disappointing take-up figures in March, it was hopeful of a huge rise in acceptances.

If you qualify for the scheme, intended to prevent 6,000 repossessions in two years, the government usually enlists an approved landlord to buy part of your home and you slowly pay back their share so you eventually own it outright again.

In more extreme cases, the landlord buys the property outright, and you pay subsidised rent.

Housing Minister Margaret Beckett says this time: "We expect many more households to be helped in the coming months. Our objective is to ensure that repossession is always the last resort and this scheme is just one part of a comprehensive package of measures we've put in place to assist families at risk of losing their homes."

Mortgage Rescue is aimed at those with an annual income of up to £60,000 who are struggling to pay their full monthly mortgage payments.

Applicants must have Government-defined priority needs. This applies to those who are pregnant, elderly, disabled or have young children.

Over 1,000 struggling households approached their local authorities in April, of which 452 were eligible for the Mortgage Rescue scheme. Despite just one household receiving aid, the DCLG insists others will have received help under various other government programmes.

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