Home ownership initiatives
There are a number of schemes available for people who cannot afford to buy a property on the open market. The Council runs the New Build Homebuy scheme in partnership with Housing Associations.
If your annual household income is less than £64,300 (for 1 or 2 bedrooms) or £77,200 (for 3 bedrooms) you may be eligible for home purchase. Generally you will need to be able to demonstrate your mortgage capability and have the savings to cover all costs.
New Shared Ownership developments in Merton and Croydon
A number of new developments of affordable housing are scheduled for completion this year, and some units will become available for Richmond residents. See Homes available in other boroughs under Up-coming Affordable Housing schemes for details.
Richmond residents may also be eligible for other shared ownership developments in London. Details are available through the FIRST STEPS website
The gateway to affordable housing in London
L&Q is the Government's HomeBuy Agent for South East and South West London. In partnership with Metropolitan Home Ownership (the HBA for the East, North and West London regions) L&Q run the FIRST STEPS service for Londoners that are not able to afford to buy or rent good quality accommodation on the open market. L&Q work closely with LB Richmond to help meet the housing needs of Richmond residents.
FIRST STEPS enables anyone looking for an affordable home in London to complete just one application form to access a range of affordable shared ownership and equity loan schemes being marketed in London. It is also possible to find rented accommodation that charges rents that are lower than on the open market.
For more information visit FIRST STEPS or call 0845 230 8099.
FIRST STEPS is moving
The Mayor of London has recently announced changes to the FIRST STEPS service. How you search for the homes available through the FIRST STEPS programme will change from 1 April 2013. This webpage will be updated as information is received from the Mayor.
What is happening?
The current website www.firststepslondon.org on 1 April 2013 will change to a new website. The new site will still continue to be the only website to list all of the homes available in London through the FIRST STEPS programme.
What do I need to do?
If you want to continue to receive alerts on the latest homes that become available or receive important news updates from 1 April 2013 you will need to register your details with the new service. Details on how to do this will appear on this webpage when they become available.
In the meantime, you can continue to search for your new home through the website. Important updates will be displayed on the homepage.
If you have any queries, please call First Steps on 0845 230 8099 (Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm) or email on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Build Homebuy (formerly known as Shared Ownership)
New Build Homebuy, formerly known as Shared Ownership, was introduced to help people who cannot afford to buy a home outright.
Through this scheme you buy a share of a property and pay rent on the remaining share that you do not own. The size of the share you purchase will depend on your income and savings. Normally applicants buy a 50% share but you may purchase as little as 25% or as much as 75%. Gradually, you can buy further shares and eventually own your home outright, which is called “stair-casing”.
Priority is given to existing Local Authority and Housing Association tenants, followed by high priority cases on Local Authority waiting lists and key workers.
Currently New Build Homebuy schemes are only available to residents of the borough and to those who can demonstrate a relevant connection with Richmond upon Thames, for example working within the borough.
Housing Association tenants can buy their home on a part-buy part-rent basis, and receive a discount on the initial purchase price. This scheme is called Social HomeBuy and the eligibility levels are usually set up by your Housing Association. It is not a statutory scheme and not all landlords will currently be offering this assistance.