LIFT Open Market Shared Equity


Want to buy a home on the open market but don’t think you can afford the full price? The LIFT Scheme could help. 

The LIFT Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme helps buyers to purchase a home for sale on the open market by providing up to 40% funding towards the price.  

“Went from renting a property and... now, with the help of LIFT, I've secured a home I can see myself living in for the rest of my days. And it’s affordable, which is important... Couldn't be happier now I have my own place I can really call ‘home’.” 



Link administers the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government throughout Scotland. 


LIFT Scheme Frequently Asked Questions  

Who is eligible?

Find out if you are eligible by applying online. The LIFT scheme is free to apply to and there is no obligation to buy a property once you have been approved.  

The Scottish Government’s LIFT Open Market Shared Equity scheme is open to:    


  • First-time buyers and the following priority target groups:  

  • Social renters  ( people who rent from a Council or Registered Social Landlord)  

  • People with a disability who can demonstrate a housing need   

  • Members of the armed forces     

  • Veterans who have left the armed forces within the past two years    

  • Widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel who have lost their life while serving in the armed forces within the last two years     

  • People aged over 60 with a housing need are a priority group who do not need to take out a mortgage.    


You must be unable to afford the property without the scheme’s support. You will need to take out a mortgage unless you are over 60. All purchasers must be first time buyers unless at least one purchaser falls within one of the other priority target groups and will no longer own another property at point of purchase through the scheme.  


If you are aged over 60 , and can demonstrate at least one of the following criteria, you can apply to the LIFT open market shared equity scheme using savings and sale proceeds rather than a mortgage , if for example :  

  • You are living in a property that is too large and you need to downsize.  

  • You need to move closer to family or friends to receive care and support.  

  • Your existing property is no longer suitable e.g. due to stairs.  

  • You are living in private rented accommodation.   

How does the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity scheme work?

The Scottish Government contributes between 10% and 40% of the valuation or purchase price (whichever is lower) of a home you have chosen on the open market. When it is sold, the same percentage of the sale price is returned to the Scottish Government; or you can increase your equity share when it suits you to do so.  


The Scottish Government’s Contribution depends on the amount you can afford to contribute from savings and a mortgage ( a mortgage is optional if you are over 60 and in housing need). Your minimum contribution will be detailed in your Passport approval letter which gives you up to 12 weeks to find a suitable property ( and settlement must take place by 31 March 2025) . If you do not find a property to buy within 12 weeks , you can reapply to the scheme subject to budget availability.  

What value of property can I buy?

Buyers can offer over the property valuation, from their own funds, as long as the price paid is within the Maximum Threshold for the property size and area.  See here for a full list of threshold prices.    

The Maximum Threshold for each area depends on the number of Apartments. An apartment is a habitable room, including bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and box rooms (subject to size). Kitchens, bathrooms, and conservatories are not classed as apartments. For example, a three-apartment property could have two bedrooms and a living room.  

There is no upper size limit on the property you can buy.  

The Scottish Government's equity stake is their contribution divided by the lower of the purchase price or valuation.   

Once your application has been approved and you have found a home you want to buy, simply send us the details and we will assess whether the property meets the scheme criteria.   

If you know roughly how much you can contribute from savings and a mortgage (which is optional if you are over 60), check out our LIFT OMSE Calculator with size and price thresholds ready reckoner.

Check what local authority area a property is in using our postcode checker. 

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 Adviser or Mortgage Adviser  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.  

Apply online


We will assess applications within 5 working days of receipt of all supporting documents.  

To support your application, you need to provide the following:  

  • One mortgage decision in principle, unless you are over 60 in housing need 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 year's 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 Adviser or Mortgage Adviser  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  

  • Barclays  

  • Capital Credit Union  

  • Glasgow Credit Union  

  • Halifax  

  • Leeds  

  • Lloyds Bank  

  • Nationwide  

  • Natwest  

  • The Royal Bank of Scotland  

  • Skipton  

  • TSB  

  • Scottish Building Society  

  • Scotwest Credit Union  


There may be other lenders available, please check with your Financial Adviser, bank, or building society.  

If your application is eligible, you will be issued with a Passport Letter, which is valid for up to 12 weeks ( as long as settlement takes place by 31 March 2025) to give you time to find a suitable property.  If you do not find a property to purchase in this time, you can reapply to the scheme subject to budget availability.

What do buyers think of LIFT?

“LIFT helped me get me and my daughter out of our small council flat and able to start a new family home together with a garden ”.



I would highly recommend the LIFT scheme if you require more suitable accommodation for a disabled person. The staff were knowledgeable and efficient and as a result I now have a suitable, affordable home for myself and my boys. I would advise you to give the LIFT team a call.”



“At over 60 we thought our days of home owning were over but thanks to the Scottish Government, they weren’t ! A fabulous opportunity which enabled us to buy a property in the area we wanted. The process was easy to navigate, very efficient and fast. Apply for it! ”.

Iain and Christine


I never thought it would be possible to own a property being a single mum with four children... For the last two years I have been renting and it has been very difficult as the rent was very expensive . I will be so much better off financially and definitely less stressed. I am so very appreciative and grateful.”



The scheme has helped me so much. If it wasn’t for LIFT I would still be private renting and spending a fortune.”



“LIFT helped us buy our first home [ instead of renting from the Council]... We will be able to pay more mortgage off, repay government money back, and own our own home.”   


After Sales

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.

More Information

More information

For more information about the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity scheme, please read the  Buyers’ Information Guide or contact us at 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.

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