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Ways to afford your own home

There are different schemes available in England for affordable housing.

Right to Buy

Buying your council home

Right to Buy allows most council tenants to buy their council home at a discount. There is a really useful eligibility checker tool available on the Right to Buy website which will also help you find out if you can apply for the scheme

For more information click here.

Buying your housing association home

Most housing association tenants do not have the right to buy. If while living in your home as a secure council tenant, and the council sold it to a housing association, you may be eligible for the Preserved Right to Buy. The property must have been transferred from a local council to a housing association after 31 March 1997.

Right to acquire

Right to Acquire allows most housing association tenants to buy their home at a discount.

You apply using the Right to Acquire application form. 

You can apply to buy your housing association home if you’ve had a public sector landlord for 3 years.

These landlords include:

  •          Housing associations
  •          Councils
  •          The armed services
  •          NHS trusts and foundation trust

To be eligible your property must have the following criteria:

  •          Have been built or bought by a housing association after 31 March 1997 (and funded through a social housing grant provided by the Housing Corporation or local council)
  •          It must have been transferred from a local council to a housing association after 31 March 1997
  •          Your landlord must be registered with the Homes and Communities Agency.

The home you want to buy must also be a self-contained property and your only or main home.

Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership can help you get your first step onto the ladder of home ownership. You can buy a home through the shared ownership scheme if you cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your needs.

The scheme allows first time buyers and those that don’t currently own a home the opportunity to purchase a share in a new build or resales property.


You would pay a mortgage on the share that you own and pay rent to the landlord for the remaining share. You have the chance to buy a share of your home (between 25% and 75% of the home’s value) with the potential option to buy more shares later on; this is called staircasing.

For more information click here.


Shared ownership schemes are usually run by housing associations.

You can buy a 25%, 50% or 75% share of a home. The housing association will own the rest of the property. After you've been living there for a year, you can buy a larger share of your home if you want to.

For more information click here


Wales provides support to those wanting to buy a home but cannot quite afford the purchase of 100% of the home at the full market value.

  • you can buy a share of the home and pay rent on the remaining share
  • you can purchase of an initial share of between 25% to 75% of the value of the chosen property 
  • you must take out a repayment mortgage for the share of the home purchased
  • you can increase your share in the property at anytime

For more information click here

Northern Ireland - Co-Ownership

If you want to buy your home, but cannot afford to buy without help, you might be eligible for Co-Ownership. You buy a share of the property and rent the rest from Co-Ownership, a registered housing association.

For more information click here

Help to Buy: Equity Loan

You can no longer apply for a Help to Buy: Equity Loan for properties in England.

You can still apply for an equity loan in Wales. For more information click here


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