Armed Forces Help to Buy Scheme

June 2018

We wanted to take this time to remind those who serve about the Government launched 'Forces Help to Buy scheme,' and the options for people who have served their country in terms of shared ownership.

What is the Scheme?

Regular armed forces personnel can benefit from a £200 million scheme to help them get on the property ladder. The Forces Help to Buy scheme enables servicemen and servicewomen to borrow up to 50% of their salary, interest free, to buy their first home or move to another property on assignment or as their families needs change.

The pilot scheme, which launched in April 2014 and has now been extended to 2018, aims to address the low rate of home ownership in the armed forces.

Who can use the scheme?

All regular personnel who:
•    Have completed the pre-requisite length of service
•    Have more than 6 months left to serve at the time they apply
•    Meet the right medical categories

However, it is recognised that there may be instances where exceptions to the standard rules may be justifiable, especially where there are extenuating medical and personal circumstances.

How much can be borrowed under the scheme?

This scheme allows service personnel to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary, to a maximum of £25,000. This can be used towards a deposit and other costs such as solicitor’s and estate agent’s fees.

How to obtain a loan?

Servicemen and servicewomen can apply for the loan online through the Joint Personnel Administration system and can seek advice on their application through their Chain of Command and personnel agency. If you are considering buying a home, but have not done so before, you may wish to read some general information on how to buy one and understand better how the process works.

Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership gives you the opportunity to purchase a percentage of a property, ranging from 25% to 75% at the beginning. This means you’ll only need to secure a mortgage for the amount that you wish to buy. It’s a stepping-stone to owning 100% of your home in the future.

Members of the Armed Forces are given priority. This basically means that if you apply for a property with your local Housing Association and are up against other people, you’ll get priority. You are still classed as a priority if you have left the Armed Forces in the past 2 years. All that is required is that you have served for 6 years or over in total and you can provide a Discharge Certificate (or similar documentation) as proof.

Want to know how it works?

Let’s say that the full purchase price of the property is £120,000 and the Registered Provider is offering a 40% share. All you will need to do is pay a £4,800 deposit and secure a mortgage of £43,200. This has been worked out by basing the costs on £48,000 (40% of £120,000), which is what you would be purchasing. If you’re struggling with saving up for a deposit, you may also be eligible for a Long Service Advance of Pay that the MOD offers their personnel to assist with the costs of buying a house.

Want to know if you’re eligible?

There have been some changes to the eligibility criteria for this scheme. The new criteria are as follows:
•    You have a household income of less than £80,000.
•    You are unable to purchase a property suitable for your needs on the open market.
•    You are not in mortgage or rent arrears or in breach of your current tenancy agreement.
•    You can afford the purchase and sustain home ownership in the long term.

Want to know how to apply?

You can apply for the scheme on the Help to Buy NEYH website here. You need to provide your personal and financial details and give details on the area that you want to live. You will then receive a confirmation email within the hour. Anita Forth, our Low Cost Home Ownership Officer added
"Shared Ownership is fantastic for members of the Armed Forces to get on to the property ladder. From completing a lot of Shared Ownership cases, I have seen many that have eventually bought 100% of their home, which is fantastic to see.

For any further information about Shared Ownership, please contact Anita on 0113 825 6189 or email her on