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The Social Home Buy Scheme

By: Christine Whitfield BA (hons) - Updated: 14 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Social Homebuy Housing Affordable

With the lack of affordable housing currently causing problems all across the UK the government has devised schemes to help potential buyers get on the property ladder. The schemes have been developed out of a necessity to help struggling first-time buyers and social tenants who would like to own their property.

With house prices rising at incredible levels over the last few years buying a property with a straightforward mortgage is becoming more and more difficult which is where the HomeBuy schemes come in.

One such scheme is the Social HomeBuy scheme.

The HomeBuy schemes were created to help those who cannot afford to buy a home in the current economic climate which, with extortionate house prices, includes much of the population.

The HomeBuy schemes include the NewBuild HomeBuy scheme, the Open Market HomeBuy scheme and the Social HomeBuy scheme. The latter aims to help social tenants who cannot afford to buy their rented home and who are not eligible to apply for the Right to Buy Scheme – another of the Governments house buying initiatives.

What is Social HomeBuy and How Does it Work?

A number of landlords participate in the Social HomeBuy scheme. If yours is one of these then you are able to buy a 25% minimum share of the property. The buyers are given a discount on the property which varies depending on the area the property is in.After buying the initial share the tenant/buyer can then buy more shares in the future. At present these future purchases do not include a discount but after April 2008 the discount will apply to all future shares purchased. The discounts vary between £9000 and £16,000.

Who offers Social HomeBuy?

The Social HomeBuy scheme should be offered by most landlords however the scheme is voluntary so landlords do not necessarily need to take part. The Government has tried to encourage all landlords to get involved in its attempt to help struggling first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.

Who is Eligible for Social HomeBuy?

Social HomeBuy is available for all existing tenants of housing associations or councils however this is only if the council or housing association is a participant in the scheme, and as participation is only voluntary this could be a problem.If the housing association or council is participating in the scheme then the tenant should not have any problems, unless that is they have faced or are facing legal action for breaching their tenant agreement.

How Do I Apply For The Social HomeBuy scheme?

If you are interested in buying a share of your rented property through the Social HomeBuy scheme you must first find out whether your housing association or local council is participating in the scheme. With the Government encouraging all landlords to take part it is hoped most housing associations and councils will be participating soon. Once you have checked that yours is you need to contact them and inform them of your interest in the scheme. They will then tell you the next necessary steps to take.

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