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Home > Housing > Housing Development > Affordable Housing > Affordable Home Ownership

Affordable Home Ownership

Affordable home ownership is an option for people who can not afford to buy a property on the open market - it's also known as 'low cost home ownership'. There are a number of schemes currently available to help people purchase their first home, or help those wanting to upsize or downsize. More information on the types of schemes available can be found at the bottom of this page.

Shared Ownership                                                      Shared Ownership                                                               

Shared Ownership properties are jointly owned by a purchaser and a Registered Provider (the Council or a housing association).

The Government will be funding a new model of Shared Ownership through the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26. Up to 50% of homes delivered through this programme will be for the new model of Shared Ownership. The new model should be available to purchase from 2022 (a limited number of homes will be available before that).

This means there will be an overlap with the present Shared Ownership model which will continue to be funded until 2023 through the Affordable Homes Programme 2016-23. As a result it may be beneficial to check what model you are applying for. Help to Buy agents can advise you on what terms and conditions the schemes are available, and which model of Shared Ownership are being delivered.

Under the Shared Ownership Scheme the purchaser:

  • buys a share of a property (between 10% - 75% in the new scheme and between 25% - 75% in the current scheme )
  • pays rent on the remaining share
  • makes two monthly payments: one for the mortgage and one for the rent
  • may increase or decrease their share in the property (known as 'staircasing'), until it's purchased outright

In most cases the combined rent and mortgage cost is less than taking a mortgage out on the entire property.

There are instances when it's not possible to purchase 100% of a Shared Ownership property, for example if the property has been built on a 'designated rural exception site', which are "small sites used for affordable housing in perpetuity where sites would not normally be used for housing." 

For more information about the Shared Ownership scheme, eligibility and how you can apply, please visit the government's Own your Home website.

Shared Ownership in the district

Shared Ownership properties are often advertised on the Help to Buy website, but also on the websites of individual Registered Providers. The following links below will take you to Registered Providers who sometimes have Shared Ownership properties for sale in the District

First Homes                                                             First Homes Logo2   

First Homes are new-build flats and houses built on developments across the country and sold with a discount of at least 30% below the market value to first-time buyers. However the Council has the option to increase this discount to 40%-50% providing there is a need and it is viable to do so. These properties will be sold to local people who want to stay in the community where they live or work but are struggling to purchase their first home at market prices.

The First Homes initiative is part of the Government's plan to help first-time buyers purchase their first home. First Homes properties went on the market from 4 June 2021. 1,500 properties being developed under the scheme are expected to be available from Autumn. The Government aims to have at least 10,000 First Homes beng delivered in the years ahead and more if there is demand.

How does it work?

The First Homes scheme provides properties sold with a minimum discount of 30% below the market value. For example, if a First Homes property is valued at £300,000 someone who is eligible for this scheme would receive a 30% minimum discount of £90,000, putting the purchase price at £210,000. A sales cap will be in place to ensure that the initial purchase price does not exceed £250,000 (or £420,000 in Greater London).

Buyers will be able to purchase First Homes in the usual way and will have access to conventional mortgage products, but they must have a mortgage or home purchase plan covering at least 50% of the discounted value of the property.

When the owner or owners of the property want to sell, their home will be independently valued by an approved surveyor. When the property is sold the 30% discount will pass on to the new owner with the discount applied to the new market value.  This is because the discount is perpetual and ensures that First Home properties will always be sold below the market price to help as many people onto the housing ladder as possible. 

The table below explains how this works.


Initial purchase

New buyer          

Market value



30% Discount applied   



Purchase price




These figures are used purely as an example of the process. The property market and rates of growth are unpredictable and as with every large purchase, independant advice should be sought.

Who is eligible?

  • Purchasers of First Homes must be first-time buyers. The government definition of a first-time buyer is “an individual or individuals who have never owned an interest in a residential property in the United Kingdom or anywhere else in the world and who intends to occupy the property as their main residence” 
  • Purchasers of First Homes, whether individuals, couples or a group of purchasers should have a combined annual household income not exceeding £80,000 (or £90,000 in Greater London) in the tax year preceding the year of purchase.
  • Buyers must have a mortgage / home purchase plan covering at least 50% of the discounted purchase price of the property.
  • If a Local Connection test is adopted, applicants will need to pass this test to be considered. However, serving members and veterans of the Armed Forces and their spouses / civil partners (in certain circumstances) are exempt from the local connection test.

More information will be relased by the government as the scheme progresses. If you are interested in this scheme, you can find more information by visiting the Government's Own your Home website.

The Council will update this webpage as and when new information is made available.

Government schemes

The government wants to help more people own their own homes. That is why they are offering a range of schemes to help you buy. Whether you are a first time buyer or a current owner, one or more might make the difference to you and open that door to security and stability for you and your family.

There are several schemes available which are listed on the Government Own your Home website. You can also check which of these schemes best matches your current circumstances by completing a short questionnaire on the website.

Find out more about each scheme by clicking on the links. The current schemes available are: