Eligibility for all affordable housing schemes is subject to funding. Priority will vary from each scheme depending on location and funding rules. To find out if you are eligible refer to the following criteria:
Living in London:
Shared Ownership (part buy, part rent) and other low cost home ownership products in London are part of the Mayor of London's FIRST STEPS range. General eligiblity criteria are that your are a first time buyer, living and working in London. Priority is given to customers who are Council or Housing Association tenants or those in qualifying roles at the Ministry of Defence. Income requirements in London have a higher cap than in the rest of the country, to reflect higher property values.
Living in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey or Sussex
If you are in living in either Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey or Sussex you can find out more about eligibility through http://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/
Am I eligible?
In London, the current maximum income eligibility thresholds for shared ownership schemes are:
£71,000 for those seeking a one or two bedroom home
Up to £85,000 for those seeking a home with three or more bedrooms.
Outside of London, the maximum annual income for those looking to buy a home through Shared Ownership is £60,000.
During the 2015 Autumn Statement, the government has announced that new maximum income thresholds of £90,000 for London and £80,000 outside of London. We will update this page as details of when these news thresholds apply emerge.
Who gets priority?
The huge demand for properties means applicants must be prioritised. Households will be prioritised for homes in the following order:
- Existing council and housing association tenants and serving military personnel
- Local priorities agreed by Local Authorities or via planning conditions these can vary by Local Authority depending on local needs, but will be explained in the property details of homes found on this site.
As homes are advertised, if no priority household succeeds in securing it, the home will be made available to all other applicants who fit all other criteria to apply to buy or rent a home.
In addition to the income limits listed above, you must be able to demonstrate that you can afford to sustain the monthly housing costs involved in low cost home ownership products, this will be looked at in detail when you have a financial assessment with an independent financial advisor but for example, as a rough guide, your housing costs (comprising your mortgage costs, rent and service charge) can be no more than 40% of your net income if your are buying with Shared Ownership.
You must have savings or access to at least £4000 to cover the costs of buying a home - this amount is a guideline figure and will vary depending on the product you buy through. In addition to this amount your mortgage lender is likely to require a minimum 5-10% deposit of the share that you buy, depending on the scheme you buy through.
Your savings and assets, access to those savings and assets, and any income generated by them will be taken into account when assessing your financial eligibility for low cost home ownership. You should also have a good credit history.
Any lump sums paid to eligible members of the armed forces, as a result of illness or injury is disregarded at financial assessment - this only applies to one off lump sum payments and not to payments such as pensions which are classed as income.
Owner occupiers, including those who have bought with Shared Ownership or a home ownership product designed for key workers, are not eligible for assistance through government funded products unless the home they bought no longer meets their needs (for example, their family have outgrown the home) and they are prepared to sell the home currently owned prior to buying a home available through another low cost home ownership option.
If you own a property and wish to buy or rent a home through a government funded option, you must either demonstrate that you are in housing need (for example; if your family has outgrown your current home and you cannot afford a suitably sized home without assistance), that you have Local Authority support to buy or that you have sold your property prior to applying.
You must be a British, EU/EEA citizen, or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. If you do not have indefinite leave to remain and still interested in buying a home, you must be able to demonstrate that you are able to raise a mortgage with an acceptable lender and that you can afford to sustain home ownership in the longer term. This will normally require a detailed individual financial assessment.
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