Mortgages for key workers in the NHS, education, police, prison or fire services

While key workers were once able to receive help with buying or renting a home via the Key Worker Living Programme, the scheme is no longer available today. There are alternatives.

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Like any other borrower, key workers are approved for mortgages based on their ability to repay the home loan when their income and expenses are taken into account. But there are government-driven home ownership schemes designed to appeal to those working in the public sector, particularly if they live in a high-cost area.

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

These programmes include:

Help to Buy

Designed to encourage first-time buyers and home movers to buy, the scheme is for newly-built properties only, and allows the purchaser to buy with just a 5% deposit, whilst giving them a further 20% equity loan, which means they only require a 75% mortgage.

The mortgage rate is therefore cheaper as it is lower risk to the lender, and the equity loan is charged at 0% for 5 years. In the 6th year, interest starts at 1.75%, and then increases annually by the RPI+1%.

The total effect results in much more affordable borrowing in the short-term and the ability to purchase a property with a small deposit. Learn more about Help to Buy.

Right to Buy

This offers council housing tenants the opportunity to purchase their property from the local authority with quite significant discounts, which can act as increased equity in the property upon application.

Shared Ownership

This is the purchase of a share of a property owned by a social landlord, housing agency or an employer.

You can purchase from 25% up to 100% of a share, on which you pay the mortgage, and on the remaining share you pay rent.

Social HomeBuy

Social HomeBuy is a grant-funded scheme that you can find out about from your local housing association or local authority.

It provides tenants with the chance to buy a share in their rented home (a minimum of 25%), while paying rent on the remaining portion of the property.

Eligibility criteria for key workers

Eligibility for these schemes is usually considered on an individual basis, but generally speaking, a key worker applying for home ownership assistance must:

  • Have a household income of no more than £60,000 per annum.
  • Be employed by a qualifying key worker profession.
  • Have a minimum of five years to serve before reaching retirement.
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