Home ownership and market rental schemes

Assistance for those looking to purchase or rent low-cost accommodation

There are various schemes available to assist those who wish to purchase or rent accommodation. 

Shared Ownership allows suitable applicants to purchase a share of a property with the remaining share retained by a housing association. You can purchase between 25% to 75% of a property and will pay a low rent to the housing association landlord for the remaining share. Owners can increase your share over time if this is affordable.

If you would like to be considered for shared ownership, you will need to register with Help to Buy South. Once registered, you can express your interest in the shared ownership vacancies advertised on their website. Properties are mostly offered on a first come first serve basis to those with arranged funds in place.

If you are not using existing equity to purchase a full share, it would be advisable to firstly seek financial guidance to determine whether home ownership is affordable to you.

Home Buy schemes offer a help to buy equity loan of up to 20% of the purchase  price of a new build property. Applicants must contribute a deposit of at least 5%.  The Home Buy loan is interest free for the first 5 years and must be repaid in full within 25 years. Whilst Home Buy schemes are offered directly by the housing developer, you must register with Help to Buy South in order to be considered and approved.

Rent to Buy (Rentplus) schemes allow applicants to rent a housing association property on an assured shorthold tenancy at a reduced rental charge of 80% of the market rent level. Throughout the duration of the tenancy, the tenant is advised to save the 20% rental reduction, preferably in a Help to Buy ISA. In doing so, after 3 to 5 years, the tenant should have sufficient funds saved to use as a deposit to purchase a share of the property. As with shared ownership schemes, you can increase your share over time if this is affordable.

Market rental properties are low cost homes rented by Housing Associations to those who are working and on a low income. The properties are let on an assured shorthold tenancy and are usually at a reduced rental level of 80% of the market rent for the property.