Cardiff Council’s assisted home ownership scheme, helping first time buyers in the city get onto the property ladder, has been relaunched as First Homes Cardiff.
First Homes Cardiff aims to help first time buyers living or working in the city who find themselves unable to afford their first home, by offering new build properties for sale on a shared equity basis on developments across the city.
As well as a new name for the scheme, eligibility criteria for the First Homes Cardiff has also been expanded to allow more people to potentially benefit.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “Since the assisted home ownership scheme was launched about 18 years ago, we’ve helped around 600 applicants to purchase a property. That’s 600 households who otherwise would not have been able to afford to buy a property on the open market, who have become homeowners.
“Now, as we relaunch the scheme as First Homes Cardiff, we want to ensure that more people, who can’t afford the type of deposit normally needed to buy a home, but who can afford the ongoing commitment of a mortgage, have that opportunity too.
“Good quality affordable housing is in high demand in the city and via our ambitious housing development programme, we are delivering new council homes at volume and pace across the city. Some of these beautiful new homes will be available to buy via First Homes Cardiff while the rest will be new homes for people on the city’s housing waiting list.”
To qualify for the scheme, applicants must be over 18 and a first-time buyer or a first-time buyer in their own right. Applicants need to obtain a mortgage and to provide at least a five per cent deposit of the purchase price. The size of the deposit will depend on the mortgage and price of the property. Other eligibility criteria apply. People who can afford to buy a suitable property on the open market without assistance, or those who have previously owned a home but wish to move to a different area are not eligible for the scheme.
As part of the relaunch, eligibility criteria for the scheme are being broadened to include applicants who may not work or live in Cardiff at the moment but are moving back to Cardiff for personal or professional reasons and have a strong local connection to the city.
Cllr Thorne added: “Owning their own home may be something many people have never given a second thought to, because they thought it would be out of reach. But with the help of First Homes Cardiff, owning a home may be more affordable than people think and likely to be cheaper than renting privately so we’d encourage people to get in touch to find out more.”
First Homes Cardiff operates on a shared equity basis. Shared equity is when a buyer purchases a share, typically 70 per cent of the open market value of the property, with the remaining equity share secured as a charge, by the Council or Housing Association (HA).