Affordable housing schemes

Last Updated: 21 October 2021

How we ensure a property is affordable

When new homes are built we ensure that a number of the properties will be sold at less than market value prices. These are achieved by using schemes such as; discounted sale, shared ownership or shared equity. The terms of these schemes are set out in Section 106 Agreements attached to the property. These agreements are unique to each property and remain with the property for it's lifetime.

Home ownership one stop shop aims to help people identify what type of affordable housing scheme could be suitable for them.

Discounted sale properties

These homes are sold at an ‘initial price’ on first sale, the initial price figures are lower than market value and are carefully assessed by us. The initial price figure also helps us determine an ‘affordable price’ for all future sales of that individual property and is usually stated in the section 106 as a percentage of the market value of that home.

Shared ownership

These homes are usually owned by a Registered Housing Provider (also known as a housing association) and may be suitable for those unable to purchase 100% of a property.

Shared Ownership schemes usually allow you to buy a minimum 25% or 10% share in a property depending on the scheme and you pay a rent on the remaining share. You are normally able to buy more shares in the property over time, this is called 'staircasing'. Some schemes permit staircasing up to 100%. The terms and conditions including subsequent sales, will usually be contained in a lease agreement but some terms can also be held in the section 106 agreement.

Government guidance on shared ownership

Shared equity

Shared equity is very similar to Shared Ownership and depending on the scheme, you may not pay rent on the remaining equity share. The terms and conditions, such as subsequent sales are usually held in the lease agreement but some conditions may be held in the section 106 agreement.

Help to buy

The Government runs a Help to Buy scheme to assist people to buy homes at market prices. The scheme includes; Equity Loans and Mortgage Guarantees. These schemes are not available on affordable properties which are already discounted.

Equity loans

This is aimed at people who may be able to secure a mortgage but haven’t got access to a sufficient deposit. Buyers must have 5% of the purchase price, the rest of the deposit is paid as a loan by the Government. Please note these are not loans provided by us. 

Help to Buy equity loan advice

Mortgage guarantee scheme

This scheme offers lenders the option to purchase a guarantee on mortgages where a borrower has a deposit of between 5% and 20%. For this option the buyer must have a very good credit rating with no recent defaults.

Help to Buy North West provides further information about the scheme and lists properties currently available to buy.