Low cost home ownership schemes

Do you want to own a home of your own but don’t think you can afford it? There are Government-led Low Cost Home Ownership (LCHO) schemes (also known as Help to Buy) which could help you to get on to the property ladder or into discounted rented accommodation.

For many people LCHO/Help to Buy schemes will be their best chance of owning or renting a home in the area in which they aspire to establish roots. To qualify for these schemes, applicants should:

  • have a gross household income of up to £80,000 per annum (bonuses and other forms of income will be included)
  • have sufficient savings for at least a 5% deposit on the share you buy and approximately £3,500 to cover the costs for legal fees etc.

The only priority group is MoD personnel, or former members of the British Armed Forces (who have been discharged in the last 2 years) or bereaved partners of service personnel killed in action.

Applicants are no longer required to register with the local authority unless the properties have a section 106 agreement. On shared ownership schemes where there is a section 106 agreement in place, applicants will be prioritised as follows:

  • a council or housing association tenant living in Slough
  • applicants living and working in Slough
  • applicants working in Slough (must be in full-time employment, in Slough, for at least 12 months).

Help to Buy agents - Help to Buy South

The government has appointed a number of agents across England to administer these initiatives. These agents are professional not-for-profit organisations that specialise in providing affordable home-ownership opportunities.

Slough Borough Council work with Help to Buy South, the government appointed Help to Buy agent covering the Berkshire area, to promote the Help to Buy initiative and other available options. All applicants must be registered with Help to Buy South.

There are a number of different scheme types offered under the Help to Buy initiative. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may find that one or more of these are available to you.

What's next if you meet the requirements?

If you are not already on Slough Borough Council’s housing register you need to:

Fees and costs

All the usual costs involved with buying a property will apply (legal fees, valuation fees, mortgage arrangement charges and stamp duty).

Your expenses each month will include your monthly mortgage repayments, buildings and contents insurance (buildings insurance is sometimes collected with the service charges) and the rent on the share of the property owned by the housing association. In some instances you will also have to pay interest on an equity loan. You will also have to budget for utilities such as gas, electric, water and other costs such as council tax, telephone, television etc.

Please remember that your home will be at risk if you fail to keep up your mortgage and rent repayments.