Home Ownership for People with Long-Term Disabilities (HOLD)

Are you ill or disabled? Consider the Home Ownership for People with Long-Term Disabilities scheme.

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Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Being ill or disabled shouldn’t stop you from getting a mortgage, even if you rely on benefits for all or part of your income.

This is where the Home Ownership for People with Long-Term Disabilities (HOLD) scheme comes in, which could help you buy a home for sale on a Shared Ownership basis.

How does it work?

This scheme gives people with long-term disabilities an opportunity to live independently when they might not otherwise be able to.

It works in much the same way as standard shared ownership, where you buy an initial share that you can afford, helping you get into home ownership in manageable stages.

However, the main difference between this scheme and any other shared-ownership scheme is that if none of the properties offered to you meet your needs, you may be able to buy a property on the open market.

Once you have found a home, the Housing Association or Registered Provider will offer initial shares from 25-75% of the full purchase price.

You will then pay subsidised rent on the remaining share that the Housing Association or Registered Provider still owns.

In the future, you can then sell your share for its value at the time, or alternatively you can purchase further shares in your home.

Eligibility criteria

You may be eligible for the HOLD scheme if you have a long-term disability and meet the following criteria:

  • Your household earns £80,000 a year or less.
  • You are a first-time buyer, you used to own a home but can’t afford to buy one now or you are an existing shared owner.
  • The homes available in other shared ownership schemes don’t meet your needs (e.g. you need a ground-floor home).

Only military personnel will be given priority over other groups through government-funded shared-ownership schemes.

How to apply

If you think you are eligible for the HOLD scheme, you can apply online through your local Help to Buy agent where your application will be assessed.

It’s important to note that DLA is taken into account when assessing affordability.

What properties are available?

If your application has been successful, you can then search for available properties. If you are interested in one particular home, it’s best to contact the Housing Association or Registered Provider selling the property to let them know you are interested.

But if there are no shared ownership properties available in a particular area or the existing shared ownership properties are unsuitable, you may be able to purchase a property on the open market.

This is fully dependent on the participating Housing Association.

In these cases, if a provider is known, the Help to Buy agent will be able to refer you to a specialist Registered Provider who may be able to assist you further.

Pros

This scheme gives ill or disabled people the chance to live independently, which brings with it many benefits.

  • HOLD provides the homeowner with choice and control over where they live.
  • Disabled and vulnerable people in stable housing are less likely to need emergency health care.
  • Stability and security can aid recovery from mental health problems.
  • Home ownership can build confidence, encourage independence and bring peace of mind to a relative’s family.
  • Individuals can choose to live closer to their families and support networks.

Cons

However, as with any shared-ownership scheme, there are also downsides.

  • You will need to pay maintenance and or repair charges on top of the rent fees to look after the property (e.g. roof maintenance).
  • If you want to sell your home in the future, the process might not be as straightforward as you think. Your progress onto the next rung of the property ladder may be stalled because the housing provider may want to buy back the property before it is marketed to anyone else. This is so your property can be sold to other people on the waiting list who are unable to buy on the open market.

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