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Affordable Housing

A range of affordable housing is available in St Helens, which includes:

This is housing that is owned and managed by some Councils and Registered Providers such as Helena Partnerships, Arena Housing, Riverside etc. Rents are subsidised to below market levels. In St Helens, there are no longer any homes owned by the Council, all social rented housing is owned and managed by Registered Providers.

This is a new form of affordable housing, let in a similar way to social rented housing. The main difference is that Affordable Rent is subject to other rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent.

This is housing at prices and rents above those of social rent, but still below market price or rents. These can include shared equity/ownership products e.g. Homebuy, or other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent.

There have been several initiatives in recent years around affordable home ownership including Home Buy Direct and First Buy. There are several housing developments across St Helens that have benefited from funding through the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to provide affordable ownership opportunities.

Homes Hub are the the affordable homes specialist for Merseyside and Cheshire and are one of the Government's Homebuy Agents. The role of Homes Hub is to provide options for those who think that owning their own home is out of reach. For more information about Homes Hub and Affordable Housing Options, please see the 'Useful Links' at the bottom of this page.

Shared Ownership allows you to buy a share in a new home, ranging from a 25% to 75% share depending on what you can afford. A Registered Provider e.g. Riverside or Helena Partnerships owns the remaining share, and you will pay a reduced rent on this share.

The benefits of this scheme are that you need a smaller mortgage to buy the property and a smaller deposit. You can buy more shares as and when you can afford them; this is called 'staircasing'. As you buy more shares, you pay less rent. You can eventually own 100% of the property if you want to, at which point you pay no rent at all.

Homebuy Direct is designed to help you buy a new property you may otherwise struggle to afford. You can receive an equity loan of up to 30% which is funded partly by the government and partly by the developer. This means that if you are looking to buy a new build home you may only need a 70% mortgage, if you qualify.

FirstBuy is a new government backed equity loan scheme, designed to help first buyers onto the property ladder, in a way they can afford.