First-time buyers on low incomes are set to get a helping hand from the Scottish government, under a new initiative.

helping hand

Around £62 million will be pumped into the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme which will allow people to pay a majority share in their home of between 60 per cent and 90 per cent. The government would then fund the rest by taking an interest-free equity stake, which would be secured under a security on the home. It is estimated that around 2,700 first-time buyers have been helped onto the property ladder by such schemes.

The plans were unveiled after the Scottish government announced the end of the Right to Buy scheme where council tenants were able to buy their homes. Scottish housing minister Margaret Burgess said that this new initiative has reduced pressure on the social rented sector by making more properties available and reducing demand for housing. She added: "People in Scotland who should rightly be able to afford a mortgage are still facing real challenges buying a home."

Her thoughts were echoed by Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland who welcomed this new investment into making homes available for first-time buyers. "We look forward to hearing how many new homes and how many extra households will benefit from these investments. Together we hope the schemes will get Scotland building. "Only long-term investment in quality housing can help us end Scotland's housing crisis for good," he added.

The scheme follows a previous announcement by the Scottish government which revealed that it will be pumping £44 million into building new, affordable homes. This represents an increase in subsidy of £16,000 per home for every local authority and council in the country.

Currently, local authorities in the country receive £30,000 towards the cost of building a new home, while registered social landlords receive around £42,000.