Get advice on low-cost home ownership

There are a number of different options for purchasing an affordable, new or existing shared ownership home. The Help to Buy schemes are funded by the Government, through the Homes & Communities Agency and include:

  • Shared Ownership
  • Older People
  • Home Ownership for People with Long-term Disabilities (HOLD)
  • Resales
  • Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee
  • Help to Buy Equity Loan
  • Developers’ Own Schemes
  • Rent to Buy

What is shared ownership?

You buy the share of your home you can afford (between 25% and 75%) and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder. You can buy more shares until in most cases, you own 100% of your home. You may see Shared Ownership referred to as part buy/part rent.

Shared ownership for older people

You can get help from another home ownership scheme called ‘Older People’s Shared Ownership’ if you’re aged 55 or over. This works in the same way as the general shared ownership scheme, but you can only buy up to 75% of your home. Once you own 75% you won’t have to pay rent on the remaining share.

Home ownership for people with long-term disabilities (HOLD)

HOLD is a specially tailored option to assist people with long-term disabilities to purchase a share in a property. It is not a separate housing product but a route into shared ownership.


These are properties that have already been bought through shared ownership in the past, and where the owners are looking to sell their share and move on. You buy the share they are selling and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder.

Help to buy mortgage guarantee

Mortgage guarantees helps you buy a home with a deposit of 5% of the purchase price. It’s open to both first-time buyers and home movers for new-build and older homes in the UK with a purchase price up to £600,000.

The guarantee is provided to your mortgage lender by the government - not to you.

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.

Help to buy equity loan

With a Help To Buy equity loan, you buy your newly built home with at least 75% of the cost met by a mortgage and a deposit of at least 5% of the purchase price. The rest is paid for by the government through an equity loan.

Help To Buy equity loans are open to both first-time buyers and home movers on new-build homes worth up to £600,000. You won’t be able to sub-let your home.

Developers’ own scheme

Many private housing developers have their own equity loan scheme, and the details vary but in general you pay for 70% and 85% of the value of your property, and the rest is covered by an equity loan.

There is often nothing to pay for this loan, but you are expected to buy the remaining equity within 10 years.

Rent to buy

If you don't want to buy right now and need more time to save for a deposit to purchase a new home, then renting a home at a lower rent may be a good option for you.

This is available on selected new developments and gives you the opportunity to rent the home you wish to buy at a reduced rate, on the understanding that you will buy it through shared ownership within a. specific time.

Make an enquiry

If you would like to find out more about low-cost home ownership, please use the online form below. You will be asked to create a My Account before you can complete the form.

Make a low-cost housing enquiry

Who can apply

Applicants must meet some basic eligibility criteria. Please see the details below:

  • You must have a maximum household income of less than £60,000 per annum
  • We recommend you have a household income of greater than £18,000 per annum (if you earn less than this but have substantial savings/equity then there may be other schemes to help)
  • If purchasing, you must have savings of at least £2,500 to cover legal and other costs, and have a good credit history

How to apply

You can apply by registering your details at the Help to Buy website.

Recommended guidelines

  • If renting, you will usually need one month's rent and a deposit at the tenancy start date and you should save the discount on your rent towards a deposit to purchase a property later
  • Most schemes require sufficient savings for a deposit of 10% towards a mortgage, for example a 10% deposit on a 40% share of a property valued at £160,000 equates to £6,400
  • You must sell your existing property if you own one
  • Applicants in mortgage or rent arrears at the time of their application or who have been in arrears within the past year are not eligible for the scheme
  • You must be able to obtain a mortgage with a 'high street' or other reputable lender
  • Homes are offered only on the basis of a maximum of one bedroom more than is needed
  • When purchasing/renting a flat (as on the open market) pets are not allowed to be kept on the premises without the prior written consent of the Landlord and is still at the Landlord's discretion
  • You are a British or EU/EEA citizen, or you have indefinite leave to remain. If you do not have indefinite leave to remain you can apply for renting/purchasing but you may not be able to get a mortgage in which case you will not be able to proceed with your purchase
  • You must be employed, self employed or be able to demonstrate you can afford to maintain the costs of home ownership. Student loans, bursaries and other similar forms of funding are not acceptable methods of income

Further information

Shared Ownership and Lead Homebid Officer
Tel: 01793 464395 or 01793 464399

Alternatively, contact the Home Buy agents on 0800 456 1188

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