Changes to a shared equity scheme will mean disabled people, first-time buyers and others on low to medium incomes across North Ayrshire and Scotland will have an increased opportunity to buy a home that meets their needs.
The threshold of the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE) - which allows people to buy a home without having to fund its entire cost - has been raised by 9% across the country to reflect rising house prices. It is aimed at priority groups who need support to buy their own home.
Applicants can now make offers on properties above the formal valuation amount, where they have funds available. People who have an application in progress do not need to reapply to benefit from the changes.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“We are all aware of the astronomic rise in house prices and, following consultation with the public, the SNP Government has further improved the process to offer a helping hand in challenging times.
“The SNP Government delivered 111,750 affordable homes between 2007 and 2022, with more than 78,000 for social rent. Progress is now being continued towards the next ambitious target of delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which 70% will be for social rent and 10% in remote, rural and island communities – which are so important across North Ayrshire.”
Thresholds are set at the lowest 25% of house prices in urban areas and the lowest 50% of house prices in rural areas. A further review to the threshold will take place in December to determine any further changes that are needed for 2023.
Through the OMSE, people can buy a home without having to fund its entire cost. Buyers pay for the biggest share which is usually between 60% and 90% of the home's cost. The SNP Government will hold the remaining share under a shared equity agreement.
The OMSE scheme is available across Scotland. It's open to first-time buyers and these priority access groups:
Older people aged 60 and over
People who rent from the council or a housing association
Members of the armed forces
Veterans who have left the armed forces within the past two years
Widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel for up to two years after their partner has lost their life while serving