Applications have opened for a new national pilot scheme helping first-time buyers with the deposit for a new home.
The SNP Government’s First Home Fund will make the housing market fairer by making £150 million available until March 2021 to help at least 6,000 households buy their first home.
Existing home ownership schemes have helped more than 32,000 Scottish households buy their own home since 2007, particularly those aged under 35.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP said:
“For many people, getting a deposit together is often an obstacle in buying their first home. Removing barriers and supporting people to buy the home they want is at the heart of this new fund. That is why we are acting to make the process fairer, to offer a helping hand to those buying a new home.
“The First Home Fund will provide first-time buyers with up to £25,000 towards the cost of buying a home that meets their needs and is located in the area where they want to live.
“Since 2007, the SNP Government has provided more than £1.2 billion in shared equity schemes, which have helped tens of thousands of people into home ownership, particularly those aged under 35 and this new scheme adds to the support we are providing.”
Louisa Harper, from Edinburgh, who bought a new flat through the Help to Buy scheme, said:
“I purchased my property via the Help to Buy scheme in 2018. The scheme enabled me to get on the property ladder a lot earlier as I only needed to save a 5% deposit. Before purchasing my flat I was caught in a vicious cycle paying expensive rent prices that meant I had little income left over to save.
“Alongside this, the properties I rented often only offered short term leases which meant my son and I moved around a lot. When I purchased my property I had not long graduated from university so was still in the early stages of shaping my career.
“Without Help to Buy, I would not be where I am now and it has enabled me to become a home owner at the age of 24 whilst allowing me to create a safe, loving and consistent home for my son.”
Shadrech Chipwatali, from Livingston, a former member of the armed forces who bought through the existing Open Market Shared Equity Scheme, said:
"This scheme gave us an option to get a house of our own when we least expected it and the process is very simple, quick and straightforward. As a member of the armed forces, it was especially ideal as the Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) scheme gave me an option to buy a house in an area of my choice. This meant my transition from army life to civilian was already sorted.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“At a time where it has become almost impossible for young people to get onto the housing ladder, this SNP Government initiative will provide a degree of security and independence that for older generations was much easier to achieve.
“I was able to buy my first home when I was only 22. Why should it be a lifelong aspiration for young people these days?
“Not only does it help people become home-owners, it also alleviates the pressure there is on both public and private rental stock.
“The First Home Fund will run from 18 December 2019 until March 2021 and I encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible to visit: