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GOVERNMENT HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS AND HOMEBUY:

THE' NEW' HOMEBUY SCHEME

SInce 1 April 2006, the new HomeBuy scheme enables social tenants, key workers and other first time buyers to buy a share of a home and get a first step on the ladder.

 

There are three HomeBuy products based on equity sharing to offer people a choice in the type of home they can buy.

  • Social tenants and those on the housing register: tenants of councils and housing associations, and those who are on the housing register, waiting for a council or housing association home to rent. 
  • Key workers: those working in the public sector in health, education or community safety - such as teachers, nurses and police officers - in areas where high house prices are affecting recruitment and retention. Any assistance will need to be repaid if participants leave qualifying employment. 
  • First time buyers: households who can't afford to buy their own home and who have been identified as eligible and prioritised for assistance within the region by the Regional Housing Board.

There are three parts to the HomeBuy scheme:

  • New Build HomeBuy where you share ownership of your home with a housing association;
  • Open Market HomeBuy where you part-buy a property and get a loan from a  housing association for the rest; and 
  • Social Homebuy where housing association and local authority tenants are helped to buy their current home

HomeBuy Equity loans are also available to qualifying individual or couples who are key workers.

What schemes are available in any particular area and eligibility criteria vary from region to region.

To find out about what is on offer in your area, contact your local HomeBuy agent. They will be able to register your interest and let you know what will be coming available and what eligibilty criteria apply.

This should be your next stop.

It is often but not always the case that key workers or those considered to be in housing need will take priority. You need to enquire to find out.

 

Contents

HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS: KEY WORKER HOUSING SCHEMES: What is a key worker?

The Government defines key workers as workers who are needed to provide frontline services in public areas, in parts of the country where housing and the cost of living is high. These areas have beenprimarily identified as London, the South East and the East of England.

You may be a key worker if:

  • You are employed in the public sector.
  • You work in a frontline role delivering an essential public service.
  • You work in a sector where there are serious recruitment and retention problems.

Typically, workers who can get help are:

  • nurses and other NHS clinical staff
  • teachers in schools and in further education and sixth form colleges
  • police officers and some civilian staff in some police forces
  • prison and probation service staff
  • social workers, educational psychologists, planners and occupational therapists employed by local councils
  • whole-time junior fire officers and retained fire fighters (all grades) in some fire and rescue services
  • qualified nursery nurses

To find out which HomeBuy and Key Worker schemes are operating in your area contact your local HomeBuy Agent to see if you qualify and what's available.

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS: KEY WORKER HOUSING SCHEMES: Am I eligible?

The eligibility criteria vary, depending on the local recruitment and retention situation. You need to go direct to a Home Buy Agent to see whether you qualify for the scheme. (Home Buy Agents covering the different areas are listed below). Those groups who can apply are:

  • Teachers in schools and in further education and sixth-form colleges.
  • Nurses and other NHS clinical staff.
  • Police officers and some civilian staff in some police forces.
  • Prison service and probation service staff.
  • Social workers, educational psychologists, planners (in London), occupational therapists and speech and language therapists employed by local authorities.
  • Whole-time junior fire officers and retained fire fighters (all grades) in some fire and rescue services (currently only in Hertfordshire).
  • Qualified nursery nurses.

Check with your local HomeBuy agent.

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS: KEY WORKER HOUSING SCHEMES: What help is on offer?

As a key worker, you may get help in one of four ways:

  • Equity ('Homebuy') loans of up to £50,000 to buy a home on the open market or a new property built by a registered social landlord.
  • Higher-value equity loans of up to £100,000 for a small group of London schoolteachers with the potential to become leaders in their field.
  • (An equity loan is only repaid when you sell the property or stop being a key worker, so you do not make monthly repayments. Ask the Home Buy Agent for further information.)
  • Shared ownership of new-build properties. You buy at least 25 per cent of the home and pay a reduced rent or pay back a loan on the remaining share. these are called HomeBuy schemes. For more details about them see our Shared Ownership section.
  • Intermediate renting at subsidised levels. The accommodation is provided by a registered social landlord and the rent set at a level between what would be charged by a private landlord and a registered social landlord.

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS: KEY WORKER HOUSING SCHEMES: Frequently asked questions

What is the maximum amount of income I can earn to qualify?

The maximum household income is £60,000, extended to £80,000 for some London schoolteachers who qualify for higher-value equity loans.

How much could I get?

The maximum loan you could receive is £50,000 (unless you are a schoolteacher in London who qualifies for a higher-value equity loan). However, your household's income, savings, financial commitments (other loans), the mortgage you are able to get, any property you already own, and the cost of the property you want to buy will affect the amount you are loaned.

I teach in a school: how do I find out whether I am eligible for a higher-value equity loan?

The HomeBuy agent will ask you to complete an additional form which he will use to decide which schemes you may be eligible for and also to assess whether he can help you straight away, or place you on a waiting list.

Is there any restriction on the type of property I can buy?

You have to buy a property that is within a reasonable travelling distance of your workplace and is considered suitable for your household's needs.

If I want to buy with another key worker can we get two equity loans?

No. You would receive one loan based on your joint income.

For a more comprehensive list of FAQs visit: www.direct.gov.uk

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS:HomeBuy Agents

HomeBuy Agents are appointed housing associations who provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ and point of contact for affordable housing options and handle the entire application process for the Open Market and New Build HomeBuy products

London
tel: 08452 308 099 
email: via website
web: www.housingoptions.co.uk

Kent, Sussex and Essex  
tel: 07002 662 846
email: marketing@moat.co.uk
web: www.homebuy.co.uk

Hampshire
tel: 02380 628 000
email: homesinhants@swayhs.org.uk
web: www.homesinhants.co.uk

Surrey
tel: 0845 600 6699 
email: homebuy@tvha.co.uk
web: www.homebuy.co.uk

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
tel: 0845 601 7729
email:  homebuy@chg.org.uk
web: www.homebuy.co.uk

Hertfordshire
tel: 01582 869 440
email:leavalleyhomes@aldwyck.co.uk
web: www.leavalleyhomes.co.uk

Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire
(including Fenland and Peterborough, Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury)
tel: 0845 456 6757
email: info@keyhomes-east.org.uk
web: www.keyhomes-east.org.uk

Norfolk and Suffolk
(except Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury) 
tel: 0845 850 2050
email: ofs@orbit.org.uk
web: www.orbit.org.uk/ofs

South West North Zone
(Bath & NE Somerset, Bristol, Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Kennet, Mendip, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Stroud, Swindon, Tewkesbury North Wiltshire and West Wiltshire)
tel: 0800 073 1315
email: via website
web: www.homebuy-southwest.co.uk

South West South East Zone
(Bournemouth, Dorset, Salisbury and South Somerset)
tel: 0800 707 6 707
email: info@search4myplace.co.uk
web: www.search4myplace.co.uk

South West Peninsula Zone (Cornwall, Devon, Taunton & Sedgemoor and West Somerset)
tel: 01803 200 300
email: info@home2own.org.uk
web: www.home2own.org.uk

Northamptonshire
tel: 0845 456 6757
email: info@keyhomes-east.org.uk
web: www.keyhomes-east.org.uk

Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire 
tel: 0844 892 0112
email: sales&marketing@emha.org  
web: www.emhomebuy.org.uk

Lincolnshire
tel: 0845 845 0800
email: homebuy@eshagroup.co.uk
web: www.home2you.co.uk/ 

Staffordshire, Shropshire, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire
tel: 0845 607 6726
email: Iwoodall@mercian.org.uk
web: www.homebuyagents.org.uk

Herefordshire & Worcestershire
tel: 0845 658 5420
email: home2own@wmhousing.co.uk
web: www.home2own.uk.com

Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, Tees Valley and County Durham 
tel: 0191 229 7333
email: homebuy@nomad-homes.co.uk
web: www.nomad-homes.co.uk

Merseyside
tel: 0845 603 4559
email: via website.
web: www.homeshub.co.uk

Greater Manchester and Lancashire
tel: 0161 447 5108
email: helen@plumlife.co.uk
web: www.plumlife.co.uk

Cumbria
tel: 0800 358 1400
email: enquiries@affordable-homes.co.uk
web: www.affordable-homes.co.uk

Cheshire
tel: 0845 112 8800
email: sales@riverside.org.uk
web: www.cheshirehomebuy.org.uk

North Yorkshire & Humberside
tel: 0800 633 5670
email: homebuy@jrht.org.uk
web: www.jrht.org.uk

West Yorkshire & South Yorkshire
tel: 0113 243 6893
email:enquiries@spaceproperty.co.uk
web: www.spaceproperty.co.uk

An equity loan may help you towards owning a property of your own. However, you are still likely to require a mortgage. In order that you can make informed decisions, it would be wise to seek financial advice.

For information about mortgages that are currently available click here for advice from Bradford & Bingley.

For a quote for legal matters relating to home ownership click here..

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS: What is HomeBuy?

Homebuy is an initiative that offers housing association tenants and tenants of local authorities, the chance to buy a share in their home. Your could also be nominated for the Homebuy scheme by your local authority if you are on a waiting list and in a financial position to afford the long-term financial commitment involved in owning a property, but may not be able to buy a home in any other way.

This shared-equity scheme enables people on a low income to take out interest-free loans as part payment on a home. The scheme is operated by selected housing associations (registered social landlords - RSLs).

Contact your local HomeBuy Agent First.

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS :HomeBuy: Who's eligible?

  • Existing tenants of registered social landlords and local councils and people on the Housing Register.
  • Key workers living in areas where it is difficult to recruit and retain staff such as nurses, teachers and police offiers.
  • First Time Buyers: Regional Housing Boards have identified and prioritised other First Time Buyer groups who may qualify for assistance.  

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS: Social Homebuy

The Government is encouraging housing associations and local authorities to offer their tenants the opportunity to buy a 25% (minimum) share in the home that they currently rent.  It is aimed at those who cannot afford the Right to Acquire or have the Right to Buy.  The landlord retains the remainder of the equity and will charge anything upto 3% of the capital value that they have retained.   Depending on the local authority area, buyers will receive a discount on the initial share purchase (the Right To Acquire discount which is generally between £9,000 and £16,000).  Contact your housing association or local authority for further details.  More information can be found at www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1162814

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS: New Build Homebuy

You may be able to buy a share in a newly built property under this scheme. As with the Social Homebuy scheme  you must buy a minimum of 25% from the company who is providing the property and they will levy a charge of up to 3% of their equity, although the average is likely to be 2.75%.  The property will need to be within reasonable travelling distance of your workplace. You can then buy further shares in the property at market value as and when you can afford to do so. 

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS: Open Market Homebuy

This scheme is designed to help key workers but may also be available to priority first time buyers or social tenants. A housing providerf will provide a loan of up to £50,000 but you will be required to find the money to buy 75% of a property on the open market. The loan must be repaid when the purchaser sells their home or ceases to be a key worker . Specified mortgage lenders will be operating this scheme from October 2006.

For more information see www.direct.gov.uk

 

As with all property purchases, before deciding to buy, you should obtain independent financial advice to get a clear idea of the costs and obligations of home ownership.

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS:: Other agencies offering help

Housing associations and other RSLs

If you do not fall into the areas covered by the Key Worker Living scheme or Homebuy but are looking for help finding a home, try contacting your local housing association. There are over 2,000 throughout the country and they are the main providers of new social housing. They are registered with the Housing Corporation and are otherwise known as registered social landlords (RSLs).

The majority of RSLs are housing associations, but there are others which are trusts, co-operatives and companies. If they make any financial surplus the money is put back into the organisation to help finance the building of new houses or maintain existing ones. If you are in housing need, you should contact your local authority housing department first, as the housing associations take most of their new tenants from the local authority waiting lists. To contact the housing section of your local authority, look under State Services at the front of the telephone directory.

To find out which housing associations registered with the Housing Corporation operate in your area go through to the Public Register of Social Landlords.

National Health Service

The NHS also provides some short-term intermediate rented accommodation for all its key workers. This is managed through the NHS accommodation website. You can search for this accommodation at: www.nhs.uk/accommodation.

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Other First Time Buyers

Social tenants, those on the housing register and key public sector workers in London, South East and East regions are eligible for HomeBuy assistance.  From 1 April 2006 other first time buyer groups who can’t afford to buy their own home who have been prioritised for assistance by Regional Housing Boards are also eligible.

In addition, the First Time Buyers Initiative (FTBi) is assisting key public sector workers throughout England as well as the groups prioritised below.  Social tenants and people on the housing register will also be eligible.  FTBi, a form of new build HomeBuy, uses public sector land in an innovative way to provide affordable housing.  English Partnerships are currently developing the scheme and further details can be be found on their website at: www.englishpartnerships.co.uk.  

http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1164844

 

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HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS: Useful links

For further information on housing for key workers visit:

www.housing.odpm.gov.uk - the Government's main site with information about housing

www.direct.gov.uk/Homepage/fs/en - offers a range of government information and services, including housing

www.housingcorp.gov.uk/yourhome.htm#contact - for more information about housing associations

www.housing.org.uk - National Housing Federation, representing the independent social housing sector

www.teachersupport.org.uk - support and advice for teachers

www.nhs.uk/accommodation - information about accommodation for NHS staff

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ADVICE TO READERS
The contents of this site are for general information only and do not constitute financial advice.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other debt secured against it.
While this website is checked for accuracy, we are not liable for any incorrect information included. We recommend that you make enquiries based on your own circumstances and, if necessary, take professional advice before entering into transactions.


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