Low cost home ownership

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 £60,000 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 £3,000 to cover the costs for legal fees etc.

Applicants must also be in one of the priority groups listed below:

  • a council or housing association tenant living in the borough
  • Ministry of Defence (MoD) Personnel
  • applicants living or working in the borough
  • first time buyers seeking their first step on the property ladder (people who have previously owned a property but have not had their name on the deeds of a property for some time can also be considered).

Help to Buy agents and Radian

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 Radian, the government appointed Help to Buy agent covering the Berkshire area, to promote the Help to Buy initiative and other available options.

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:

  • Register with Slough Borough Council by contacting the Customer Service Centre on 01753 475111 for an application form or download the housing register application form and information booklet.
  • If you're already on the housing register and would like more information on available schemes in Slough, please contact the Housing Initiatives Officer on 01753 875543.
  • Register with Radian through their website, call 0845 604 1122 or email info@helptobuysouth.co.uk. More details about the available options and schemes are available on the website.

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.