Helping first time buyers

ANGUS Council is promoting a Scottish government scheme to help certain buyers get onto the housing ladder by assisting towards their deposit.

The Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme assists current social rented tenants and armed forces personnel to buy homes that are for sale on the open market where it is affordable for them to do so.

Angus Council’s housing spokesperson, Councillor Jim Millar, welcomed the scheme. He said: “This will assist to achieve the goal of owning their own homes by taking that important step onto the first rung of the housing ladder. I hope that people in Angus will look into this option.”

The scheme, administered for the Angus Council area by Link Housing Association Ltd., is open to priority group applicants which include people who rent a property from either a local authority or a housing association, members of the armed forces, veterans who have left the armed forces within the past year, and widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel killed in action, for up to one year after their partner has been killed.

There are limits on the price of homes that can be bought to ensure that only ‘starter’ properties are available through the scheme.

The equity stake that buyers must take in a property ranges from a minimum of 60 per cent to a maximum of 90 per cent. Lenders normally require buyers to provide a modest deposit. The loan from the government is repaid within a maximum of 19 years, either when the owner sells the house, or earlier if wished.

In the past four years the Low-Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) shared equity schemes, of which OMSE is part, has helped over 5,600 people buy a home.

For information on the scheme, contact Link Housing Association, Watling House, Callendar Business Park, Falkirk, FK1 1XR, telephone 08451550 019, or www.linkhousing.org.uk