The help to buy scheme allows people to purchase a share in a property and then pay a monthly rental agreement on the remaining cost of the home. For buyers, this means they can start paying off their mortgage at a rate they can afford and purchase a more significant share of the property when finances allow. This is known as staircasing.
In order to qualify for the scheme, buyers need to have a household income below £80k or below £90k for those who live in London.
In order to be able to purchase a home through Help to Buy schemes: Joint Ownership in England, you will have to:
- Have a household income of below £80k per annum or under 90k for those who live in London.
- You can’t own any other properties.
- You cannot be named on the deeds of another property.
- You Can’t Have any outstanding credit issues.
Property that may be acquired by joint ownership is held by Housing Associations and can be either new constructions or resales of established common properties. It would be best if you dealt with a Home Buy agent, who will handle the transaction on your behalf.
What Other Shared Ownership Schemes Are Available?
Some schemes offer shared routes to shared ownership, and they are focused on particular groups of people.
Shared Ownership For Specific Groups of People
Every housing authority provides a limited property allocation which is reserved for key employees. Every local authority may have its own unique set of key workers and qualifications requirements so as a general rule you should be working in a qualified key worker occupation and have a total of 5 years to serve until you enter retirement.
- Environmental Health Officers
- Highways Agency Traffic Officers
- Ministry of Defence (MoD)
- Prison Service
- Probation Service
- Local Authority
- Fire Fighters
People With Long Term Disabilities – HOLD
This programme aims to support people with long-term conditions to afford a house and stay independent. You will purchase an initial share as with many joint-equity systems, and then additional shares when you can manage the payments from the Housing Authority or Licensed Provider. The distinction being that if the available assets are not an appropriate match for your homeownership desires, you may be able to purchase a property on the open market. This includes forwarding of the application to a professional company and to the local authority. It is a charitable programme, and thus not generally accessible around the UK.
Shared Ownership For Older People – OPSO
Supporting people over 55 to own their own home, follows the same principles as other shared ownership schemes but the available properties are exclusively for those over 55 years old. The maximum percentage of the property you can own is 75%, and you won’t have to pay rent on the remaining 25 percent if you do this. It would need to be sold before qualifying for the programme because you still have a house.
Extra support is an enhancement offered by some OPSO systems, which is a Sheltered Mutual Management arrangement that offers on-site support with additional benefits. This allows tenants to live comfortably in self-contained accommodation in a spacious residence with access to tailor-made care packages and service assistance.
Rent to Buy is another path to joint ownership for those who have not yet been able to raise the necessary 5 percent deposit. Housing organisations and licenced companies provide rental properties, prices usually around 20 percent cheaper than free-market rent which will enable you to save a deposit. In the future, you will also be granted the opportunity to buy up a portion of your house and staircase because you will spend more in your house.
Starter Homes is a revolutionary scheme targeted primarily at individuals aged 23-40 who wish to join the housing ladder. Developers will be forced to provide unique ‘starter houses’ as part of the zoning requirements, which will then be marketed by an approved scheme for at least 20 per cent below market value. The highest price for properties outside London would be £250,000, and £450,000 within London.