25 June, 2009


Affordable Housing Schemes available to Service Personnel

Key Points:

  • Eligible Armed Forces personnel are now able to apply for an extended range of affordable housing schemes across England under the Government's Key Worker status.  Those included in the scheme are all Regular Service personnel, the MPGS and some MOD civilians (MOD Police, Fire Service and some clinical staff).
  • Key Worker status was expanded on 28 December 2007 to cover all English regions and to give MOD personnel access to all of the options available under regionally run Key Worker Schemes.
  • There are now three affordable Housing Schemes and one Intermediate Rent Scheme.  They are:

    • shared equity arrangements under the New Build Homebuy
    • English Partnership's First Time Buyers Initiative
    • Open Market Homebuy using one of three options to buy a property on the open market with the help of Government funding in addition to other lenders' loans 
    • an intermediate rental scheme where the rent is set between social and full market rent
  • The schemes are run on behalf of the Government by 'Homebuy Agents', these are housing associations (otherwise known as Registered Social Landlords or RSLs) who run regional versions of a Key Worker Scheme in their areas of the country.
  • JSHAO contact phone numbers:- 01722 436575 or 01722 436574 | Mil: 94331 2575 or 94331 2574.


1.  The Key Worker Living Programme (KWLP) was launched in 2004 to help certain public sector employees to buy a home, upgrade to a family home or rent a home at an affordable price.  By helping key workers to buy or rent a home the Government hopes to keep them in the jobs they have trained for, retaining the essential skills needed in our public services.  The scheme is targeted at key worker groups in London, the South East and East of England where there are problems with recruitment and retention.  From 28 December 2007, eligibility was expanded to those with Key Worker status in the KWLP to be included as a priority group across all other regions that operate a regional version of the scheme.

2.  Products - Eligible MOD personnel now have access to the following products under the KWL scheme:

a)  Open Market Homebuy.  This scheme enables key workers and other priority first time buyers to buy a property on the open market with the help of a Government-funded loan of 12.5% of the purchase price of the property, that can be topped up with an additional 12.5% from another lender.  The Government loan is repaid when the occupant can afford it  or when the property is sold.  The lender's loan allows for a five year interest free period.  The one exception to this arrangement is an enhanced offering from one lender who will provide a loan to supplement the Government loan to a total of up to 32.5% of the purchase price.

b)  New Build Homebuy.  Under this scheme purchasers can buy between 25% and 75% of a new build property (depending on what they can afford) on a leasehold basis.

c)  Intermediate Rent Scheme.  This is where the accommodation is provided by a registered social landlord.  The tenant is likely to pay between 75% to 80% of the local market rent for the type of property that they live in.  They would have an assured short hold tenancy whilst they remain a key worker.

d)  First Time Buyers Initiative (FTBI).  This aims to help eligible first time buyers to buy a new home with an affordable mortgage.  They must take out a mortgage for at least 50% of the property purchase price, and English Partnerships will provide a contribution up to the full purchase price.  After living in the home for three years, buyers will pay a fee to English Partnerships based on a small percentage of its contribution.  FTBI homes will not immediately be available in all regions but applicants can check on availability through their Homebuy Agents.

3.  Applications - The KWL programme is run on behalf of the Government by 'Homebuy Agents'; these are housing associations (otherwise known as Registered Social Landlords or RSLs) who run a KWL scheme in their area of the country.  'Homebuy Agents' can register your interest, assess your eligibility and provide details of schemes in your area.  A list of 'Homebuy Agents' is provided below.

Question and Answer Brief

Q: What size house am I entitled to?
A: The Homebuy Agent must determine the current needs of the applicant's household, taking into account the number of people in the household, their age and gender and other family circumstances, e.g. where the applicant has divorced or separated and children visit on a regular basis, there may be need for an additional bedroom.  As a guide, applicants are allowed one bedroom more than required based on their current household composition.

Q: Can I use this scheme to upgrade my current home?
A: You will not be able to do this when your current housing needs are met by your existing property.

Q: Can my partner live with me?
A: Yes.

Q: What if any of my circumstances change?
A: You are obliged to inform the Homebuy Agent of any changes in your circumstances such as leaving the Service or if you are posted away from the area in which the property is located, within seven days of the change.

Q. What happens if I get divorced?
A. If, under the terms of a divorce settlement, the property is subject to a transfer of ownership, the court will advise the Homebuy Agent (as one of the mortgagees) of this order.  The Homebuy Agent will then ask to see the financial statement and agree with the Housing Corporation whether clawback should be triggered or be deferred.

Q: What happens if a Service person in receipt of assistance dies whilst on duty?
A: Death in service is one of the circumstances that does not trigger clawback.  In such cases, only sale of the property or transfer of ownership would trigger repayment.

Q. What is clawback?
A. This is the term used to describe the requirement to repay any assistance received in the event of the leaseholder losing their KWL status.  The leaseholder has a period of five years from the loss of KWL status in which to either sell the property and divide the proceeds in accordance with the percentage split, or 'staircase' their share of the property up to 100%.  If the leaseholder is discharged from service other than at a natural exit point, i.e. PVR or notice prior to completing their engagement, clawback is triggered.

Q: Will Service personnel be able to apply for assistance from the KWL programme or regionally operated KW schemes if they are deployed overseas?
A: Yes, if their home base is within the eligible regions.

Q. What happens if I am posted outside the Key Worker Living area, including overseas?
A. The KWL scheme recognises the fact that military personnel are sometimes compelled to move to another part of the country for Service reasons.  As a result of this, clawback will not be triggered as a result of a posting to another area.  If you decide to sell the property as a result of the posting any assistance received will have to be repaid on a percentage basis.  Shared ownership leases must prohibit sub-letting by the leaseholder to protect public funds and ensure applicants are not entering shared ownership for commercial gain.  However, the housing association may consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests to sub-let in certain controlled circumstances.  It is the housing association's decision as to whether they agree to the request and permit sub-letting.

Q. What if I leave the Services and move to another Key Worker profession?
A. Repayment of the loan will not be required as long as the new employment qualifies for Key Worker status under the scheme.

Q. What happens if I leave the Service at the end of my engagement, i.e. not through PVR or by giving notice?
A. Clawback will not be triggered and repayment of any assistance will only be required upon the sale of the property.

Q. How does the housing association ensure that they get their money back on sale of the property?
A. Their interest is secured through the lease.

Q: As I only own a percentage of the property do I only have to pay a percentage of the council tax?
A. No.  You will be liable to the whole of all charges and bills associated with the property.  This includes any legal fees and stamp duty land tax associated with the purchase.

Q: Will members of the Reserve Forces/Territorial Army be eligible?
A: No, because the MOD is not their main employer.

Regional Homebuy Agents

London Kent, Sussex and Essex

Phone Icon Phone: 08452 308 099
Email E-mail: via website
website Website: http://www.housingoptions.co.uk/


Phone Icon Phone: 07002 662 846
Email E-mail: marketing@moat.co.uk
website Website: http://www.homebuy.co.uk/

Hampshire Surrey

Phone Icon Phone: 02380 628 000
Email E-mail: homesinhants@swayhs.org.uk
website Website: http://www.homesinhants.co.uk/


Phone Icon Phone: 0845 600 6699
Email E-mail: homebuy@tvha.co.uk
website Website: http://www.homebuy.co.uk/
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Hertfordshire

Phone Icon Phone: 0845 601 7729
Email E-mail: homebuy@chg.org.uk
website Website: http://www.homebuy.co.uk/


Phone Icon Phone: 01582 869 44
Email E-mail: leavalleyhomes@aldwyck.co.uk
website Website: http://www.leavalleyhomes.co.uk/

Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire
(including Fenland and Peterborough, Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury)
Norfolk and Suffolk
(except Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury)

Phone Icon Phone: 0845 456 6757
Email E-mail: info@keyhomes-east.org.uk
website Website: http://www.keyhomes-east.org.uk/ 


Phone Icon Phone: 0845 850 2050
Email E-mail: ofs@orbit.org.uk
website Website: http://www.orbithomebuyagents.co.uk/

South West North Zone
(Bath & NE Somerset, Bristol, Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Kennet, Mendip, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Stroud, Swindon, Tewkesbury, North Wiltshire and West Wiltshire)
South West South East Zone
(Bournemouth, Dorset, Salisbury and South Somerset)

Phone Icon Phone: 0800 073 1315
Email E-mail: via website
website Website: http://www.homebuy-southwest.co.uk/ 


Phone Icon Phone: 0800 707 6 707
Email E-mail: info@search4myplace.co.uk
website Website: http://www.search4myplace.co.uk/

South West Peninsula Zone
(Cornwall, Devon, Taunton & Sedgemoor and West Somerset)

Phone Icon Phone: 01803 217 600
Email E-mail: info@home2own.org.uk
website Website: http://www.home2own.org.uk/


Phone Icon Phone: 0845 456 6757
Email E-mail: info@keyhomes-east.org.uk
website Website: http://www.keyhomes-east.org.uk/

Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Lincolnshire

Phone Icon Phone: 0844 892 0112
Email E-mail: sales&marketing@emha.org  
website Web: http://www.emhomebuy.org.uk/


Phone Icon Phone: 0845 845 0800
Email E-mail: homebuy@eshagroup.co.uk
website Website: www.home2you.co.uk/

Staffordshire, Shropshire, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire Herefordshire & Worcestershire

Phone Icon Phone: 0845 607 6726
Email E-mail: Iwoodall@mercian.org.uk
website Website: http://www.homebuyagents.org.uk/


Phone Icon Phone: 0845 658 5420
Email E-mail: home2own@wmhousing.co.uk
website Website: http://www.home2own.uk.com/ 
Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, Tees Valley and County Durham Merseyside

Phone Icon Phone: 0191 229 7333
Email E-mail: homebuy@nomad-homes.co.uk
website Website: http://www.nomad-homes.co.uk/


Phone Icon Phone: 0845 603 4559
Email E-mail: via website
website Website: http://www.homeshub.co.uk/
Greater Manchester and Lancashire Cumbria

Phone Icon Phone: 0161 447 5108
Email E-mail: helen@plumlife.co.uk
website Website: http://www.plumlife.co.uk/


Phone Icon Phone: 0800 358 1400
Email E-mail: enquiries@affordable-homes.co.uk
website Website: http://www.affordable-homes.co.uk/

Cheshire North Yorkshire and Humberside

Phone Icon Phone: 0845 112 8800
Email E-mail: sales@riverside.org.uk
website Website: http://www.cheshirehomebuy.org.uk/ 


Phone Icon Phone: 0800 633 5670
Email E-mail: homebuy@jrht.org.uk
website Website: http://www.jrht.org.uk/

West and South Yorkshire

Phone Icon Phone: 0113 243 6893
Email E-mail: enquiries@my4walls.co.uk
website Website: http://www.my4walls.org.uk/


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