First Home Fund
The Scottish Government’s First Home Fund is a shared equity scheme that helps first-time home buyers purchase a property that meets their needs and is located in the area they want to live.
Covid-19: Please check this web page regularly for updates and processing timescales.
The scheme will provide you with up to £25,000 towards the purchase of a home and can be used for both new build and existing properties.
As this is a shared equity scheme, both you and the Scottish Government will hold an equity share in the property under a shared equity agreement.
The scheme opened in December 2019 and will provide £200 million of funding for first-time buyers. Due to high uptake in recent weeks, the First Home Fund will close to new applications at 6pm on Friday 2 October 2020.
Any applications received after 6pm on Friday 2 October 2020 will not be accepted.
This represents a pause in the First Home Fund scheme which will re-open in 2021 for purchases completing from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022. Further details will be announced in due course.
The Scottish Government continues to support homebuyers and the housebuilding sector through existing schemes including Help to Buy (Scotland) and the Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT).
Frequently Asked Questions
- My award letter relates to funding for 2020-21 but the completion date is confirmed as being delayed beyond 31 March 2021. Will I need to re-apply when the scheme opens for 2021-22 applications?
Decisions on whether to extend the approval period for applications already made which may be delayed beyond 31 March 2021 due to COVID-19 will be made on a case by case basis, taking into account the circumstances of each case.
As you may be aware, on 15 July construction businesses were able to move to Phase 4 of the Industry Restart Plan. By progressing to Phase 4, the construction industry is able to fully restart construction activities with appropriate safety measures in place and this is likely to allow house builders to progress sites faster than has been possible up until now. The final stage of the industry restart plan will see construction companies increase density and productivity, building on their experience of the new guidelines.
Normally if missives do not conclude within 3 months of application and the purchase does not complete within 6 months thereafter or by 31 March 2021 (whichever is earlier) then the application will be cancelled and the applicant must re-apply.
- Can I apply for 2021-22 funding before the scheme re-opens?
No, applications for 2021-22 funding can only be submitted when the scheme re-opens, via the online form which will open at www.linkhousing.org.uk/firsthomefund.
- I have decided against buying the property I was approved to buy with support from the First Home Fund: can I change the property or do I need to re-apply?
You must re-apply if the property you originally intended to buy changes. The only exception is a different plot number with a property of the same value and builder within the same development, prior to receipt of Solicitors Confirmation Letter.
- Will there be changes to scheme criteria for 2021-22 applications?
No changes will be made.
- Will there be any exceptions to the deadline for 2020-21 applications?
No exceptions can be made in order to be fair to all applicants, therefore please allow sufficient time to submit applications by the deadline.
- When will funding for 2021-22 be announced?
Funding for next financial year will be announced in due course, following the results of the Spending Review. The Link and Scottish Government websites will be updated with full details when available.
There are no restrictions on the price of property you can buy and it is open to all first-time buyers in Scotland, including single and joint purchasers. You will need to take out a capital repayment mortgage.
How to Apply
We recommend that you speak to an Independent Financial Advisor or Mortgage Advisor before applying to the scheme.
You must have an offer accepted (even if verbally) on an existing home or reserve a new-build property, before applying.
Submit an online application to apply to the First Home Fund.
Applications currently take up to 13 working days to process due to the impact of Coronavirus.
First Home Fund - Covid-19 Update
Applications currently take up to 13 working days to process due to the impact of Coronavirus on our caseload. This also applies to responding to a request that we sent to you for more information. Please only call us if you have not received a reply within 13 working days or the matter is urgent.
Timescales for solicitors to return documents to Link (including confirmation of mortgage) which are necessary to claim funds, are issued with Award Letters to applicants and their solicitors. Failure to adhere to these timescales will result in settlement dates requiring to change. Unfortunately, due to current volumes, no exceptions can be made.
Due to the impact of Coronavirus on settlement timescales, the deadline to settle all transactions that were due to settle earlier for First Home Fund and Help to Buy is 31 March 2021. A revised Award Letter or Authority to Proceed is not required. Missives must be concluded within three months of approval to First Home Fund and Help to Buy.
Due to the impact of Coronavirus, the deadline to conclude missives that were due to conclude before end September 2020 has been extended to 30 September 2020, and there will be no further extensions beyond this date. If the missives were due to conclude by 30 September 2020 and they do not, the applicant must re-apply. Settlement must take place within 6 months of the conclusion of missives or by 31 March 2021, whichever is the earlier.
Information for buyers
- Guidance leaflet for buyers
- Applicant Journey Flowchart
- First Home Fund Overview
- Scottish Government Shared Equity Scheme Post Sales Information for Buyers
The following lenders offer mortgages for the First Home Fund:
- Bank of Scotland
- Capital Credit Union
- Glasgow Credit Union
- Leeds Building Society
- The Mansfield Building Society
- Scotwest Credit Union
- Vida Homeloans
Information for homebuying professionals
- Guidance leaflet for lenders & IFAs
- Administrative procedures
- Sustainability calculator
- After Sales Shared Equity Procedures
- Application form sample – all applications must be online
- Award letter
- Standing instructions to solicitors
- Settlement timescales
More information on the First Home Fund and the eligibility requirements can be found on the Scottish Government website.
Contact the First Home Fund team on email@example.com or 0330 303 0555.