Deadline looms for funding for first-time housebuyers

There is one more week for prospective first-time homeowners to apply for the pilot First Home Fund, which has helped thousands secure a property.

Friday, 25th September 2020, 11:54 am
The scheme has been especially popular since the housing market reopened in June.

The scheme has been especially popular since the housing market reopened in June and is expected to support more than 8,000 households. Homebuyers, who are completing purchases this financial year, have until 6pm on Friday, October 2, to apply for a loan of up to £25,000 for their deposit. The pilot will then be evaluated, with the results expected to be published in January.

The early success of the scheme means the Scottish Government intends to reopen it for applications in the new year.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “The pilot of our First Home Fund has been a huge success, helping thousands of people own their first home.

“The fund has been especially important since property sales resumed over the summer, and we invested a further £50 million in July to help ensure that first-time buyers could still access the market despite changes to mortgages caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“While the scheme is almost fully subscribed for 2020-21, I am pleased to say that I will re-open the pilot for the next financial year, and look forward to announcing further details of this in due course.

“In the meantime, first-time buyers will still be able to access shared equity schemes including Help to Buy (Scotland) and LIFT (the Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers), and I would encourage them to consider these options.”

Cameron McKenzie used the fund to buy a two-bedroom flat in Pilton, Edinburgh. He said: “Thanks to the First Home Fund we bought our first home far earlier than we ever imagined, especially during these uncertain times! The application process was easy to understand and Link staff were very helpful.”