New initiative offers home ownership to first-time buyers for just £5,000

A new approach to home ownership has been launched that aims to benefit young and old alike across Scotland.

Devised by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME) is a new and easier route to home ownership for first-time buyers and also offers an alternative option for older home owners who want to move to a house that is right for their needs.

The infrastructure and housing experts said HOME is a way to deliver affordable housing for local authorities, housing associations and developers that does not require any subsidy and is fully self-funding.

This week North Ayrshire Council, in partnership with SFT, launched its first HOME development in Scotland. The pilot scheme will see the council build 33 properties on the site of the former St Mary’s Primary School in Largs.

For young, first-time buyers, the houses will be offered for sale for £5,000. For older people looking for a home to meet their changing needs, homes will be sold for £40,000.

The £5,000 sum secures first-time buyers a stake in a house or a flat and all the rights that come with being a home owner with fewer responsibilities. It is aimed at those who have some savings but might be struggling to pull together enough for a full deposit. It will also be ideal for people that work but are finding it difficult to get mortgage approval.

Under HOME, older owner occupiers will also be able to purchase a home for just £40,000. This is a new option for home owners who do not have enough equity to buy the right property for themselves on the open market but who want a modern, desirable, manageable home.

Christa Reekie, commercial director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “Increasing the supply and improving the quality of housing across Scotland remains a key priority for us. SFT’s housing experts worked alongside North Ayrshire Council to develop this new housing model for first time buyers and older people looking to downsize. As well as benefitting many individuals, the new ownership model introduces more homes that will be affordable to buy.

“We are confident more local authorities and other interested parties will quickly follow North Ayrshire Council’s lead in this new initiative, once they see the benefits.”

North Ayrshire councillor Jim Montgomerie added: “This has the potential to be a real, ground-breaking project and one that offers a real, affordable alternative for those who are struggling to buy their own home or find themselves stuck in a house which is perhaps too large to maintain.”

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