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Help to Buy Schemes

Jul 04, 2024

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Howards-Help to Buy is a comprehensive government initiative aimed at facilitating homeownership in England. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to move up the property ladder, understanding the various schemes available under Howards-Help to Buy can significantly aid your journey towards owning a home. This detailed guide provides an in-depth look at each scheme, eligibility criteria, and how they can benefit prospective homeowners.

What is Howards-Help to Buy?

Howards-Help to Buy encompasses a range of schemes designed to assist individuals in purchasing a property. While some schemes have closed to new applicants, others remain active, offering valuable support tailored to different stages of the homeownership process.

Howards-Help to Buy ISA and Lifetime ISA

The Help to Buy ISA, which closed to new applicants in 2019, allowed savers to receive a 25% government bonus on their savings towards their first home purchase. Existing account holders can continue to save until November 2029 and claim the bonus until November 2030. The Lifetime ISA replaced the Help to Buy ISA and offers similar benefits but with additional age restrictions and criteria.

Shared Ownership Scheme

The Shared Ownership scheme enables buyers to purchase a share (typically between 25% to 75%) of a property's value and pay rent on the remainder. This option is suitable for first-time buyers, existing shared owners looking to increase their share, or those who cannot afford to buy a property outright.

Help to Build Equity Loan

For individuals looking to build their own home, the Help to Build equity loan provides financial assistance covering 5%-20% of the total costs, up to a maximum of £600,000 (£400,000 for those who already own the land). In London, the loan can cover up to 40% of the costs, making it a significant support for self-build projects.

New-Build Property Equity Loan

Previously available until October 2022, the New-Build Property Equity Loan offered buyers up to 20% off the cost of a new build home, requiring only a 5% cash deposit. This scheme aimed to make new build properties more accessible to buyers.

Right to Buy and Right to Acquire

Under the Right to Buy scheme, council tenants have the opportunity to purchase their home at a discounted price. Discounts can vary based on tenure length and property type, offering significant savings for eligible tenants. Similarly, the Right to acquire scheme applies to housing association tenants, providing discounts on the purchase of their property under specific conditions.

Applying for Howards-Help to Buy

Applying for Howards-Help to Buy schemes involves several steps:

  1. Research and Preparation: Understand the eligibility criteria for each scheme and assess which ones align with your financial situation and homeownership goals.
  2. Seeking Guidance: Consult with estate agents and developers who specialize in properties eligible for Howards-Help to Buy schemes. They can provide insights into available properties and recommend mortgage advisors who are familiar with the application process.
  3. Application Process: Once you’ve identified a property and confirmed your eligibility, work with your chosen mortgage advisor to complete the application process. Ensure all required documents are submitted accurately and promptly to avoid delays.
  4. Completion and Ownership: Upon approval, finalize the purchase of your property and complete all necessary legal and financial transactions. Enjoy the benefits of homeownership with the support provided by Howards-Help to Buy.


Howards-Help to Buy schemes play a crucial role in making homeownership achievable for many individuals across England. Whether through financial assistance like equity loans or savings schemes like the ISA options, these initiatives cater to a wide range of home buyers’ needs. By understanding the nuances of each scheme and navigating the application process effectively, prospective homeowners can take significant steps towards securing their own property.

If you’re considering buying a home and seeking financial support, exploring Howards-Help to Buy schemes is highly recommended. Stay informed about updates and changes to eligibility criteria to make the most of these beneficial opportunities. With the right information and guidance, achieving your dream of homeownership can become a reality with Howards-Help to Buy.