Buying if you have a disability

This topic provides information on options for property purchase and retention, for disabled people. If you are a disabled services veteran, go to our special topic, Buying if you are a services veteran.

What is Access Ownership?

If you have a disability, you may be eligible to apply for Access Ownership.This is a new scheme designed to offer more housing choice, flexibility and control to disabled people. It is based on the principles of shared ownership. The scheme is open to people with any form of disability including physical impairment, learning difficulties and mental health issues.

It is available to those who are looking to buy a more suitable home and to people who already own a property but are seeking to reduce their financial commitments.

How does it work

Under the scheme, you own a share in a property and Link Group owns the rest. The size of the share can range from 25% to 75% and you pay a monthly rent (known as an occupancy charge) to Link, on the remainder.The amount you pay depends on the size of the share you own. If you are eligible, Housing Benefit would normally cover your occupancy charge.

If you are looking to buy

You would choose a property for sale on the open market in an area that is right for you - for example, near to your friends, family or workplace. Link would purchase the property and you would then purchase a share from Link, paying an occupancy charge on the remainder.

If you are an existing homeowner

Link would purchase a share in your property in return for you entering into an agreement to pay a monthly occupancy charge.

Flexible features

You may also opt for a full repairs and maintenance service from Link. The fee for this would be incorporated into your occupancy charge. You have the right to increase your share in the property based on its current market value or Link's initial purchase price (whichever is higher).

Paying for your share

There are a number of ways to pay for your share in a property:

  • A traditional mortgage
  • Savings
  • Family funds
  • Equity from the sale of your current property or using the equity in your current property for your share
  • A combination of the above

In some cases, depending on your circumstances, Income Support will pay the interest on an interest-only mortgage of up to £200,000. The agreement by Link to purchase a property will be subject to a satisfactory Home Report survey and an inspection by Link's technical staff.

How to find out more

If you are interested in applying, please contact Housing Options, who will help you decide if the scheme is right for you.

Housing Options in Scotland, The Melting Pot, 5 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PR. Call 0131 247 1400.

Shared Equity through LIFT

You may also be in a priority group for a Government-subsidised scheme called Low-Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) - which enables people to buy new homes on a shared equity basis.