Affordable housing scheme details

What is the Affordable Housing Scheme?

The Affordable Housing Scheme is part of a Government initiative designed to allow individuals and families better access to housing and help first time buyers get a foot on the property ladder.

How does it work?

There are various types of affordable housing that could become available from time to time on this scheme. You do not have to be a first time buyer or on the Council's Housing Waiting List to apply for any of the following:

Home Ownership / Discount Market Housing

Homeownership/Discount Market Housing allows you to buy a property on selected sites (subject to availability) with a discount off the full market value, usually ranging between 20% and 30%, e.g. a house worth £160,000 with a 25% discount will be offered to qualifying applicants for £120,000. This is not shared equity or shared ownership (there is no rent or equity loan to repay) and, even though you have been given a discount, you own the whole property. You do not have to repay the discount. However, there is a restriction on the title which means that when you want to sell the property you must sell it on to the next household with the same level of discount.

Shared Ownership

Shared ownership is a part buy, part rent scheme. It allows you to buy a share of a property on selected sites (subject to availability) and pay a reduced rent to the landlord on the remaining share which they own. Eligible applicants can usually purchase between 25% and 75% of the property initially, depending upon their financial circumstances. This means that buyers will need a smaller mortgage and deposit (minimum 5% subject to lender requirements) than they would need if they were buying the property outright. They will also have the option to buy more shares as and when they can afford to. Monthly costs are usually lower than renting the same home privately.

Shared Equity

Shared equity allows you to buy a property on selected sites (subject to availability) with the help of an equity loan. The equity loan will be a second charge on your property, representing a percentage of the value of your property. Therefore, when you pay back the loan, you will pay it back as a percentage of the current market value of your home. For example - your

home cost £200,000 when you bought it and you had a 20% equity loan equivalent to £40,000 (you paid £160,000). If your home is worth £300,000 when you sell it, you will pay back 20% of £300,000 which is £60,000.

Shared equity and shared ownership schemes are different. With a shared equity scheme you own all of the property, albeit you have a loan on part of your deposit - whereas with a shared ownership scheme, you only own a portion of your home with the chance to buy back more from the landlord when you can.

Intermediate Rent

Allows you to rent a property on selected sites (subject to availability) for less than the full market rent, usually 80%. For example - if the full market rent is £500 per month, eligible applicants will pay £400 per month. Please note, this is not Council housing, if you would like to apply for Council housing please log on to www.askb.org.uk or contact the Customer Contact Team on 0161 253 5251 to see if you are eligible.

How do I apply?

You simply complete the online Affordable Housing Application Form at: Apply for Affordable Housing.

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply for Home Ownership/Discount Market Housing providing they meet the basic occupancy criteria:

  • Register on the Affordable Housing Scheme by completing the online Affordable Housing Application form.
  • Have been resident within the Borough (e.g. Prestwich, Whitefield, Bury, Radcliffe, Tottington or Ramsbottom) for at least the last 6 months or more prior to application. If you are making a joint application, only one of the applicants has to be living within the borough.
  • Have no current or former rent arrears or history of anti-social behaviour with the Council.
  • Use the property as their own/main home throughout ownership - it cannot be rented out.
  • Not own any other property. If you currently own another property, you will have to be in the process of selling it before you can buy/part buy or rent a property on this scheme.
  • Be able to afford to buy the property at the discounted price but not at the full market value, subject to a financial assessment.

For schemes such as Shared Ownership and Shared Equity, certain eligibility criteria may apply on individual schemes from time to time, which could include:

  • Not owning any other property (applications from home owners will be accepted if they can demonstrate that they are in the process of selling their current home).
  • Agreeing to use the property as own/main home throughout ownership, it cannot be rented out.
  • Being in permanent employment.
  • Having a household income of less than £80,000 per year.
  • Having a local connection.

Each development will have its own allocation policy, you will need to check the requirements for the specific site you are interested in for full details, as and when properties are available.

In order to apply for Intermediate Rent, applicants must:

  • Register on the Affordable Housing Scheme by completing the online Affordable Housing Application form.
  • Have been resident within the Borough (e.g. Prestwich, Whitefield, Ramsbottom, Radcliffe, Tottington or Bury) for at least the last 6 months or more prior to application. If you are making a joint application, only one of the applicants has to be living within the borough.
  • Not have outstanding rent arrears with the Council or history of anti-social behaviour.
  • Not own any other residential property.
  • Be in permanent employment and have a household income of less than £80,000 per annum. Applicants on temporary contracts may not be accepted.

What happens next?

Your application will be processed and you will be advised whether you have been accepted onto the Affordable Housing Scheme or not (normally within 10 working days).

Once you have been accepted, visit the developments listed on our webpages and let us know if you are interested in a particular property after you have checked with the house builder, housing association or estate/letting agent that it is still available. Contact details and viewing arrangements are listed in the available property section on our webpages, please click the following link Affordable housing web pages.

All applications are subject to a financial assessment. The assessment will take account of your income, savings and the amount of mortgage a bank/building society will agree to lend you (if applicable).

Full details including the re-sale process can be found on the Affordable Housing web pages. If you have any queries please contact us.

Contact for Affordable Housing