Council/housing association tenants
Council or housing association tenants may benefit from the following schemes:
- right to buy — the “right to buy” scheme gives council tenants the right to buy their rented home at a discount. The discount is calculated based on how long you have been a tenant, where you live and the value of the property. Maximum discounts range from £16,000 to £38,000, depending on where you live.
- right to acquire — the “right to acquire” scheme gives housing association tenants the right to buy their rented home at a discount. Discounts range from £9,000 to £16,000 with the amount depending on where you live.
- social HomeBuy — see “HomeBuy schemes” below for details.
- cash incentive schemes — some councils offer cash incentive schemes to help council tenants buy their own (non-council) property. This helps the council by freeing up council accommodation.
HomeBuy schemes are available in England and are administered by HomeBuy agents who are appointed by local housing associations. They are open to households with earnings of less than £60,000 who would otherwise be unable to buy.
- social HomeBuy helps council and housing association tenants buy a share of their home (minimum 25%) at a discount, though not all councils and housing associations offer the scheme.
- open market HomeBuy helps people buy a property on the open market through an equity loan of up to 50%, with the remainder being financed through a mortgage. There are two kinds of open market HomeBuy:
- MyChoiceHomeBuy, which provides an equity loan of 15-50%; and
- Ownhome, which provides an equity loan of 20-40%.
- new build HomeBuy helps people buy a share of a new build property and pay rent on the remainder.
- rent to HomeBuy allows people to rent certain new build properties at a below-market rate (80% or less) for up to five years. The aim is to allow them time to save a deposit and to give them first option to buy the property at any time during or at the end of the tenancy.
The key worker living programme provides help buying or renting to key public sector workers such as nurses, teachers and police officers. The following schemes are available to key workers:
- HomeBuy schemes — key workers are eligible for open market HomeBuy and new build HomeBuy. See “HomeBuy schemes” above for details.
- intermediate renting — rent is set at a level between that charged by social landlords and private landlords for accommodation provided by a registered social landlord. (Note that this particular scheme is for renting, not buying.)
- HomeBuy schemes — social HomeBuy and new build HomeBuy are both shared ownership schemes. See above for details.
- first-time buyers’ initiative — this scheme helps eligible first-time buyers in England buy a new build property. The government provides assistance of not less than £25,001 and in return, takes a proportionate share of future sale proceeds.