City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Low Income Home Buyers Get A Lift

By edg - Posted on 31 March 2009

The Scottish Government today announced it is expanding The Open Market Shared Equity scheme to the whole of Scotland. An increased budget of £60 million - up from £24 million in the pilot launched 18 months ago - is expected to help around 1,500 households to buy through the scheme this year.

The scheme is part of the Scottish Government's Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT), to help people on low to moderate incomes buy an affordable home where that is sustainable for them.

Through the Open Market scheme, currently run by LINK housing in Edinburgh, buyers can own a home, but only pay for a proportion of it - between 60 and 80 per cent of its value - with the Government funding the remainder through taking an interest-free equity stake.

The buyer does not pay any charges on the equity stake, but pays the Scottish Government a proportion of the sale price at the time of sale, or earlier if they wish.

"As part of its economic recovery plan, the Scottish Government wants to help families during difficult economic times," said Minister for Housing and Communities, Alex Neil.

"It will provide a small, but much needed boost to house sales in a number of areas across Scotland."