Fresh help for Scottish home buyers

More than �160 million of new funding will be targeted in 2016/17 on home ownership schemes to support 5000 households to buy their own home.
More than �160 million of new funding will be targeted in 2016/17 on home ownership schemes to support 5000 households to buy their own home.

New funding of £160 million will be targeted in 2016/17 on home ownership schemes to support 5000 households to buy their own home.

More than £80 million will go to our established Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE) helping up to 2000 eligible first-time buyers on low to moderate incomes.

The Help to Buy (Scotland): Affordable Home Ownership scheme will help up to 3000 households next year, backed by £80 million equity support towards the purchase price.

The three year £195 million Help to Buy scheme, which will help thousands of lower income households buy a new-build home, will open for applications on March 1.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: “I am delighted that we can help 5000 home buyers into affordable home ownership in the coming financial year, underpinned by £160 million, which is £35 million more than originally planned for this year.

“Importantly, this new funding is specifically targeted to support thousands of low income individuals and families across Scotland get on or up the housing ladder.

“Since 2007, OMSE has helped over 6000 first time buyers who would not otherwise be able to afford to buy their first home to get a foot on the housing ladder; and this year we will help another 2000.

“Through Help to Buy, we have already helped 7500 households buy a new build home and over the next three years our successor Help to Buy Scheme will help another 7500 as well as boosting the home building industry, and support jobs across Scotland.”

He continued: “Homes for Scotland and the Council of Mortgage Lenders expressed clear views about how Help to Buy should be improved. We have listened carefully to what they told us and worked with them to develop the scheme to support industry and buyers as much as possible.

“The funding is also good news in particular for the SME sector of the housing industry. Hundreds of small developers will benefit from people buying new affordable homes across urban and rural Scotland.”

Homes for Scotland incoming chief executive Nicola Barclay welcomed the further support for the successful scheme which has helped protect vital jobs and boosted the economy.

She said: “As recent research confirms, the majority of Scots aspire to home ownership. The reintroduction of Help to Buy will enable more people to realise their dreams as well as keep the housing market moving. Providing builders with the certainty they need to plan their investment and construction programmes is crucial if they are to deliver the homes we need.”