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Help to Buy, Shared Ownership and Key Worker Housing

What is Help to Buy? Help to Buy Logo

The Government created Help to Buy to help qualifying households to buy a home of their own.

What is available under Help to Buy?

There are a number of different scheme types that are offered under the Help to Buy initiative. Depending on your individual circumstances you may find that one or more of these are available to you.

Shared ownership schemes

Help to Buy Shared Ownership is a part-buy/part-rent scheme that enables the purchaser to buy a percentage of a newly built or resale property, usually from a housing association, and pay rent on the remaining percentage.

Help to Buy Shared ownership - New build

Under this scheme, you need to purchase the maximum share that you can afford, which is normally a share of between 25% to 75% of the full market value. The combined monthly cost of your rent and your mortgage will usually be less than buying the property outright.
After one year of ownership, you are able to buy additional shares in increments of 10%, until you own 100% of your home. This process is called 'Staircasing'.

Shared ownership is especially appealing if you are unable to:

  • Raise a sufficient deposit to allow a mortgage to be approved.
  • Obtain an adequate mortgage approval to purchase a property outright even if you have a healthy deposit.

Priority on all new shared-ownership schemes developed in Elmbridge is given to households who live or work in Elmbridge and anybody interested in purchasing one of these shared-ownership homes will need to be registered with, and assessed as eligible for Help to Buy by |bpha.

Shared Ownership - Resales

Resales are shared ownership homes that become available when existing 'shared owners' wish to sell their stake in the property they currently own. This is normally as a result of them moving up the property ladder due to a change in circumstances. The share that can be purchased and the rent payable will differ from one property to another, as a result of differences in the percentage initially purchased and any staircasing activity that has occurred.

Am I eligible for shared-ownership?

If you are finding it difficult to get on to the property ladder or to find a suitable private rental solution, why not consider Help to Buy shared-ownership to see if you are eligible and whether it is a suitable option.

Please note that you do not have to be on Elmbridge Borough Council's Housing Register to be considered for any of the schemes listed.

To be eligible for shared-ownership

  • Your annual household income must not exceed 60,000
  • In most circumstances you must not have been in rent arrears over the last 12 months. Due to standard mortgage evaluation checks, it is unlikely that you will be able to purchase a property if you have a low credit rating
  • Your name, or the name of any joint registrant, must not currently be on the deeds of another property either in the United Kingdom or overseas.

The government has prioritised the following four groups for Help to Buy Shared Ownership:

Existing Social Tenants

  • Tenants who currently live in a council or housing association property on an 'assured shorthold tenancy' basis or in an 'affordable rent' property.

Ministry of Defence (MoD) Personnel

  • Specific categories of staff employed by the Ministry of Defence as specified by the government's Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Please contact bpha for more information

Local Priorities

  • Priority for shared-ownership schemes in Elmbridge is given to households with a live or work connection with the borough.

First-Time Buyers

  • Individuals and families who want to get onto the property ladder.

Other Priority Considerations
A number of other eligible groups as specified by individual local authorities, may be considered for Help to Buy options on a case by case basis. These include people who may be experiencing a major change in circumstances such as:

  • Overcrowding of an existing property due to a new family addition
  • A forced sale, e.g. divorce/separation
  • Needing to care for a sick relative.

Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme

The Help to Buy equity loan is designed to help you purchase specific new-build properties priced up to 600,000 from participating registered developers with as little as a 5% deposit, whether you are a first-time buyer or an existing homeowner. Unlike previous schemes, there is no upper income cap for buyers. The government will give you an equity loan of up to 20% of the full value of a new build home. The remaining purchase price of at least 80% will need to be funded by a mortgage (including the 5% deposit). There is no interest to pay on this equity loan for the first five years.

Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme

The Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme can help you buy a newly built home or an existing property with a deposit of as little as 5%. This scheme is not administered via Help to Buy Agents, you must contact participating lenders directly for more information.

The scheme works by offering lenders the option to purchase a guarantee on mortgages where a borrower has a deposit of between 5% and 20%. To qualify for this scheme, you must pass lender affordability checks and have no history of difficulties in meeting debt payments.

In order for your mortgage to be eligible for the mortgage guarantee scheme:

  • it must be a residential mortgage, so you will be planning to live in your house and not rent it out;
  • the property you want to buy must be in the UK and the purchase value must be 600,000 or less;
  • the mortgage must be taken out on a repayment basis, rather than interest-only;
  • the mortgage must be to buy your only property, so you cannot have an interest in any property, anywhere in the world; and
  • the mortgage cannot be for a shared equity or shared ownership purchase.

You can apply for a mortgage guarantee through a participating mortgage provider. The following lenders are currently participating in the scheme:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Halifax
  • NatWest
  • RBS

Contact a participating mortgage provider directly for more information about how you can benefit from the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme.

Want to find out more about Help to Buy?

The government has appointed a number of agents across England to administer Help to Buy. From 1 April 2014, Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association (bpha) is the |Help to Buy Agent covering the East and South East of England (including Elmbridge).

The Help to Buy service is essentially a "one-stop-shop" service for government supported home ownership and rental opportunities that exist in Elmbridge and beyond. By registering with bpha, individuals are assessed to identify the schemes they are eligible for. They also work with a number of organisations including housing associations, private developers and local authorities to ensure customers are kept informed about all the opportunities available to them.

For more information, or to register please visit the |bpha website, call 03333 214044 or e-mail helptobuyeastandsoutheast@bpha.org.uk.

Elmbridge Homeownership Assistance Scheme

If you live or work in Elmbridge and are looking to buy a home of your own but need some financial support to do so, then you could be eligible to access up to 70,000 in the form of a low interest loan to help you onto the property ladder.

The Elmbridge Homeownership Assistance Scheme has been has been established by Elmbridge Borough Council and Catalyst Housing Association. Applications from housing association tenants living in Elmbridge will be prioritised as this will free up much-needed homes for rent, with other applications processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as there are limited funds available.

The Elmbridge Homeownership Assistance Scheme is a local funded initiative and is separate to Help to Buy. |A guide for applicants is available. To register your interest, you should call Catalyst HomeBuy on 0845 601 7729 or e-mail: equityloans@chg.org.uk.


Rented Homes for Key Workers

This option offers properties to rent on assured-shorthold tenancies at rents which are no more than 80% of open-market rents. All the intermediate rented schemes currently in Elmbridge are restricted to key-workers and the properties are owned and managed by housing associations

Key workers are those who work in certain public sector jobs such as teachers, police, NHS staff, fire fighters etc. who may be eligible for discounted rented accommodation.

Paragon Community Housing Group provides rented homes for key-workers in eight schemes across Elmbridge, more details of which are available from |Paragon's website. For more information For more information on how to apply please contact Paragon directly, but please note that you must meet the definition of a key-worker to be considered for these properties.

Important Note

Please note that you will not need to register on Elmbridge Borough Council's Housing Register in order to be considered for any of the Help to Buy products, the Elmbridge Homeownership Assistance Scheme or local key-worker housing schemes.


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