Lift Open Market Shared Equity Scheme
The LIFT Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE) helps people receive up to 40% of funding towards the price of a home on the open market.
"This scheme gave us an option to get a house of our own when we least expected. The process is very simple, quick and straight forward. As a member of the armed forces, it is especially ideal as LIFT gave me an option to buy a house from an area of my choice. This means transitioning from Army life to civillian is already sorted"
— Mr Chipwatali, a LIFT buyer and Army veteran
The Scheme has Temporarily Closed
Due to demand, the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity Scheme budget is fully committed, and applications are now closed.
Changes to the scheme last year increased accessibility and despite the Scottish Government making an extra £10M available, the full £50M allocated has now been committed .
Applications and Property Approvals
Applications to the scheme are now closed. Applications submitted prior to closure will be assessed in accordance with the scheme guidance. Further supporting documents will be requested and processed as normal after scheme closure.
All approved Passports can be used up to their expiry date, however no extensions will be granted beyond the Passport expiry date.
Applicants with valid Passports can still send in properties for approval as normal.
Applicants who decide to no longer proceed with an approved property must tell us straight away. They can apply for another property unless their Passport has expired. Applicants with expired Passports cannot reapply whilst the scheme is closed. Settlement delays for approved properties will be processed as normal up to 31 March 2024.
The Scottish Government’s budgeting process for next financial year will determine future arrangements which will be confirmed in 2024.
The LIFT New Supply Shared Equity Scheme continues to operate via social landlord new build development programmes.
You can read more about Link’s affordable home ownership schemes through this link: https://linkhousing.org.uk/affordable-home-ownership/
If you have not already applied, you can join our mailing list for future updates.
Link administers the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government throughout Scotland.
The LIFT Open Market Shared Equity scheme is central to achieving affordable housing supply targets, alleviating pressure on the private rented sector and social rented sector. Over 12,000 people have purchased a home through OMSE since 2007. Below is some examples of the impact the scheme has:
“Buying my own home with the help of the LIFT scheme has been truly transformative. After leaving my marital home in 2016 I rented privately in Edinburgh and, unfortunately, this was a mostly negative and quite stressful experience as I moved home 6 times between 2016 and 2020. This constant moving home was time-consuming and stressful and as I am a self-employed person, time is money, so it was very expensive too.”
— Kairin , A LIFT buyer and previous private rented tenant
“LIFT gave me one of the most positive experiences of my life. Without it, I could not have bought a home, and would not have seen a future time when that was possible due to rent obligations. I feel immensely grateful.”
— D.F, LIFT buyer with a disability
“The rent in the private sector was too high for us, and we could not have waited longer for a council house as the situation at that time started to affect our daughter. We knew that it would never be possible to buy a property without the LIFT scheme. LIFT has helped improve our way of life. My daughter has got her own bedroom and finally she can go to bed on time like the other kids. We now have with less pressure than before. I do recommend the LIFT scheme for anyone who is struggling right now. You will never regret it!!”
— Meryem , LIFT buyer and previous social tenant
The scheme is currently open to social rented tenants, first time buyers (who have never owned before nor had their name on a mortgage), disabled applicants, Armed Forces Personnel, veterans of the Armed Services who have left within the last two years and widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel for up to two years after their partner has been killed while serving in the armed forces and people over 60 with a requirement to move.
How to Apply
How do I apply?
Read our leaflet for an easy step by step guide to applying.
We recommend that you speak with an Independent Financial Advisor or Mortgage Advisor before applying. You will need to provide a Mortgage Promise or Mortgage Agreement in Principle along with your application unless you are over 60 and buying without a mortgage.
Supporting documents for all applicants who will be living in the property, irrespective of whether they will be on the mortgage, must be received before we can assess your application. All supporting documents should be submitted with your application.
We will assess applications within 5 working days of receipt of all supporting documents.
To support your application, you are required to provide the following:
One mortgage decision in principle, unless you are over 60 and applying without a mortgage
Your most recent 3 months’ bank statements for all accounts held for each applicant
Your most recent 3 months’ confirmation of all savings held for each applicant
Your most recent 3 months’ (or 12 weeks) payslips for each applicant
If you are self-employed, a copy of your last years accounts or most recent SA302 tax form
Your most recent award notice for any benefit payments including Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit and Personal Independence Payment
Proof of accommodation status such as tenancy agreement, mortgage redemption statement or letter from parent or guardian if living with them
We recommend that you speak with an Independent Financial Advisor or Mortgage Advisor before applying to the scheme as you are required to provide a Mortgage Promise or Mortgage Agreement in Principle along with your application.
There are currently 14 lenders offering mortgages for the OMSE scheme:
Bank of Scotland
Capital Credit Union
Glasgow Credit Union
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Scottish Building Society
Scotwest Credit Union
If your application is eligible, you will be issued with a Passport Letter, which is valid for 12 weeks to give you time to find a suitable property.
Link’s After Sales team provides services to buyers who purchased their home through one of the Scottish Government’s shared equity schemes. Find out more and read the Scottish Government’s Aftersales Information for Buyers on our Shared Equity After Sales page.
For more information about the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity scheme, please read the Buyers’ Information Guide, sign up to the LIFT mailing list or contact us at email@example.com or 0330 303 0125. You can also check the Scottish Government’s website.
We welcome feedback about our services. Compliments and complaints can be submitted here.