Help to buy a home
If you're on a low income, you may be able to get help to buy your own home.
Birmingham City Council works closely with registered social landlords (RSLs) and private developers to make homes available on the Affordable Housing Scheme. Affordable housing is aimed at people who are:
- first time buyers
- unable to afford to buy a home on the open market
- living in areas affected by demolition and clearance
- looking to rent a home but cannot afford to pay market rents.
There are a number of options available to help people afford somewhere to live:
Help to Buy scheme
You may be able to get financial assistance through one of four Help to Buy schemes, even if you are not a first time buyer or on a low income. Find out more by visiting www.gov.uk/affordable-home-ownership-schemes.
The agent that looks after the scheme for the West Midlands is Orbit. Call them on 0345 850 2050, or visit the website www.orbithelptobuy.co.uk.
Shared Ownership means buying part of your home and renting the rest. Then, when you can afford it, you can buy the whole of your home outright, if that's what you want.
Some housing associations also offer homes for shared ownership. To find out more, contact individual housing associations directly.
The council negotiates with developers to set aside a number of properties to be sold at a discounted price. These homes usually sell at between 50% and 70% of the full market price.
These schemes offer good quality, private accommodation at a reduced price on six month assured shorthold tenancies. There is no right to buy these properties.
Assessment of needs
Each RSL or private developer will carry out a detailed assessment of each applicant's circumstances to see if they are eligible to take part in the scheme. The general criteria states:
- single applicants must earn no more than £25,000 a year
- couples must not earn more than £40,000 per year
- applicants must meet conditions set by the local authority
- applicants must not have any county court judgements
- applicants already renting a property must have clear rent accounts
- applicants must be able to get a mortgage and have enough income to meet the costs of running the property they want to buy.
Want to find out more?
If you want to find out more about affordable housing you can download the leaflet at the bottom of this page. There is also an affordable housing application form which you can download and post to the address stated on the form.
Alternatively you can send us your questions using the form below.