Help to buy
The Shared Ownership scheme is aimed at helping first time buyers and certain existing homeowners to purchase a home.
This scheme allows you to buy a share in a home from a housing association (also called a registered provider) and pay a discounted rent on the remainder. When you buy a home through Shared Ownership you:
- buy a share between 10% and 75% of the home’s full market value
- pay rent to the landlord for the share they own
- usually pay monthly ground rent and service charges, for example towards the maintenance of communal areas
- you can buy further shares in your home at a later date (known as 'stair-casing')
You may be eligible to buy a home through Help to Buy: shared ownership in England if:
- you have a household income of less than £80,000 (outside London) or £90,000 (inside London)
- you cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your needs
One of the following must also be true:
- you’re a first-time buyer
- you used to own a home but cannot afford to buy one now
- you’re forming a new household - for example, after a relationship breakdown
- you’re an existing shared owner, and you want to move
- you own a home and want to move but cannot afford a new home that meets your needs
In Lichfield District, most shared ownership properties are prioritised for people with a local connection to the district who are in housing need. Anyone that fits the local connection criteria would usually get priority over other applicants for the first 3 months of the property becoming available. This only applies to new-build shared ownership homes, not re-sales. The local area connection criteria varies between developments, but generally it’s based on:
- Being a resident (or employed within) the area for a number of years (usually between 2-5).
- Having close family connections with relatives living in the district, such as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or adult sibling who has lived in the area for at least three years.
Detailed information about Shared Ownership can be found here: Shared ownership homes: buying, improving and selling: How shared ownership works - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Shared ownership for certain groups:
- Older people: If you’re aged 55 or over at the time of buying the home, you can buy up to a 75% share through the Older People’s Shared Ownership (OPSO) scheme. Once you own 75%, you will not pay rent on the rest.
- Disabled people: You can apply for a scheme called Home Ownership for people with a Long-term Disability (HOLD) if other scheme properties do not meet your needs. For example, if you need a ground floor home.
- Priority for members of the armed forces: Certain military personnel get priority over other groups in the Forces Help to Buy scheme which is available only in England
- Rent to Buy : This scheme is designed to help those move from renting to buying a home by providing subsidised rent. It is also known as Rent to Save, Rent to Own or Intermediate Rent. With Rent to Buy in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, you rent a newly built home at approximately 20% below the market rate for up to five years (exact period of time varies by property). During that time period, you have the option to buy the property or to buy part of the property under a shared ownership scheme. When you get to the end of the time period, you either have to buy part of the property or move out.