LIFT Open Market

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 (Low-cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers) Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme has helped over 12,000 people since 2005. Applicants can receive up to 40% funding towards the price of a home on the open market.

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

How does the scheme work

The Scottish Government contributes between 10% and 40% towards the price of a home you have chosen on the open market. For example, if you find a home for £100,000 and can afford to contribute £70,000 (through mortgage and deposit) as your share, the Scottish Government could provide the remaining 30% (£30,000). When the property is sold, 30% of the sale price would be returned to the Scottish Government.  

In most areas you can increase your equity share to 100% over time if you choose to do so.

The Scottish Government’s contribution depends on the amount of mortgage you can get compared to the value of the property that meets your needs. Size and price thresholds apply. 

Who is eligible? 

The scheme is open to the following groups:  

  • First-time buyers  
  • Social renters  
  • 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 who can demonstrate a housing need  

If you can raise more than 90% of the value of the property, you will not be eligible for the scheme.   

There is a similar scheme for applicants aged over 60.

Over 60s

How do I apply?

Submit an online application to find out if you are eligible for the LIFT scheme.   

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.

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.   

Not ready to apply? Sign up for the LIFT mailing list to receive additional information on the scheme, including the maximum purchase price for a property in your area, via email.   

What size and price of property can I buy? 

Properties must be advertised for sale on the open market and be: 

  • Priced within the maximum threshold for the Local Authority area, and  
  • The correct size for your household. 

A family of four (two parents and two children) could be entitled to buy up to a four-bedroom property (that is, five apartments including living/dining rooms).

Check the size and price thresholds for your area here

Advertised on the ‘open market’ means that the property has been advertised publicly e.g. on a website or social media site.  

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

More information

For more information about the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity scheme, please read the Buyers’ Information Guide, join our LIFT mailing list or contact us at or 0330 303 0125.  You can also check the Scottish Government’s website.