Get on a property ladder: Government schemes

Many affordable housing schemes in the UK can help you get on the property ladder. This article will explain Help to Buy, ISA and Right to Buy.

Help to Buy

The Help to Buy scheme was first introduced in 2013 as an affordable housing scheme to help people get on the property ladder with a deposit as small as 5%.

Equity Loans

  • New Build only.
  • Property up to £300,000 (£600,00 in England).
  • Buyer contributes 5% as a deposit.
  • The government provides a 5-year interest-free equity loan of 20% (40% in London).
  • The remaining amount will be provided by the buyer’s mortgage.
  • Stopped accepting new applicants as of 5th February 2021.

Mortgage Guarantees

  • Is not restricted to new builds only.
  • Property up to £600,00.
  • Buyer contributes 5% as a deposit.
  • Government (Tax Payers) acts as Guarantor for the mortgage amount up to 95%, protecting the Lender.
  • Ended in 2017.

Shared ownership

  • The buyer buys a percentage of equity for the property and rents the rest from a housing association.
  • Is not restricted to new builds only.
  • First-time buyers or non-homeowners only.
  • Buyer yearly household income cannot exceed £80,000 (£90,000 in London for 1 to 2 bedroom property).
  • The minimum share of equity starts at 25%, and buyers can purchase up to 75% of the property under this scheme.

NewBuy scheme

  • Is restricted to new builds by participating builders only.
  • Buyers can put down a 5% deposit.
  • Lenders are secured by an Indemnity fund set up by the government and builders.
  • Property up to £500,000.
  • Property must be buyer’s only home and cannot be used for sub-letting.
  • A buyer’s mortgage cannot be an interest-only mortgage.

ISA Schemes

The government has introduced two specific ISA schemes that help with property purchases in the UK and provide a tax-free bonus to savings which are paid out when the saver intends to buy a property.

Help to Buy ISA

  • Savers put up to £200 each month to the ISA.
  • The government will pay a 25% bonus on top of ISA when you buy a property; the solicitor or conveyance will help apply to the government on your behalf for the extra 25%.
  • Property up to £250,000 (£450,000 in London).
  • Property must be your only home, and you intend to live inside it.
  • Minimum £1,600 in savings to be eligible for a£400 bonus.
  • Maximum of £12,00 in savings to be eligible for £3,000 in bonus.
  • You do not need to pay the bonus back.
  • Stopped accepting new applicants.

Lifetime ISA

  • Savers put up to £4,000 each year into the ISA until the age of 50.
  • The government will add a 25% bonus to whatever you pay in a year, up to a maximum of £1,000 per year.
  • You can take the money out and get the bonus if you buy your first home, are aged 60 or over, and are terminally ill with less than 12 months to live.
  • Property up to £450,000.
  • You will have to pay a 25% withdrawal charge for any other reasons.

Right to Buy

The Right to Buy Scheme targets Council housing tenants and allows you to buy your council home at a lower price than the total market value. The government deems that your time as a tenant entitles you to a discount.

How much is the discount?

The Right to Buy discount differs for houses and flats; these figures are accurate as of 2021.


  • Get a 35% discount if you have been a Public sector tenant for between 3 to 5 years.
  • After five years, your discount goes up by 1% for every additional year to stay as a Public Sector tenant.
  • The maximum discount is 70% with a cap of £84,600 within the UK and £112,800 within London Boroughs, whichever is the lower amount.


  • Get a 50% discount if you have been a Public sector tenant for between 3 to 5 years.
  • After five years, your discount goes up by 1% for every additional year to stay as a Public Sector tenant.
  • The maximum discount is 70% with a cap of £84,600 within the UK and £112,800 within London Boroughs, whichever is the lower amount.

Who has the Right to Buy?

If you are a secure tenant of a Right to Buy landlord, you have the Right to Buy; the following is a list of Public sector bodies that are Right to Buy Landlords:

  • A district council.
  • A county council or borough council.
  • A London borough council.
  • The common council of the city of London.
  • The council of the Isle of Scilly.
  • A Metropolitan county police authority.
  • The Northumbria police authority.
  • Metropolitan county fire and civil defence authority.
  • The London fire and civil defence authority.
  • A metropolitan county passenger authority .
  • The London Waste Regulation Authority.
  • The West London, North London, East London and Western Riverside Waste Disposal Authorities.
  • The Merseyside and Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authorities.
  • A registered provider such as a housing association registered with Homes England. This only applies if you are a secure tenant, a former tenant of a local authority, or another Right to Buy landlord and your home was transferred to a registered provider.

Who does not have the Right to Buy?

You may not buy your home if you are the tenant of a registered provider, which is:

  • A charity.
  • A landlord who has not received a public subsidy.
  • A co-operative association.
  • Homes England.

How do I apply for a Right to Buy discount?

Suppose you are an eligible secure tenant from a Public sector body. In that case, you can apply to purchase your property with the council or housing association by filling in an RTB1 application form and searching for the eligible form from your local council or government website.


A 5% deposit is possible in the UK. For private housing, the most popular way to purchase affordable housing is Shared ownership. For council tenants, there is a path to ownership through the Right to Buy. There are incentives for affordable housing for specific new builds, so you can also consider those.

Get free removal quotes from companies in your area

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Get your quotes for removal service

Choose the service you need and start getting removal quotes directly from professional companies

Removal experts

VanHelper only works with the best removal companies across the UK to deliver a seamless experience from door to door.

Equipped with the right tools for the job and with years of experience behind them, we are confident that you will get the 5-star removals service you deserve.

removal van

Save money

VanHelper helps you find the best deals by searching through many local removal companies in your area to get the lowest price available.

We achieve this by searching for relevant companies and reaching out to them on your behalf with details of your move.


Save time

Don't waste time calling multiple removal companies only to find out they are unavailable or too expensive.

Submit just one simple quote request and get up to 6 quotes in one go.