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.
The First Home Fund budget for 2021-22 is now fully committed and applications are closed. The scheme will not be reopening in financial year 2022-23.
The scheme provides 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 LIFT Open Market Shared Equity Scheme, New Supply Shared Equity Scheme and Help to Buy (Scotland) Small Developer Schemes remain open, details of which are available here and on the Scottish Government website.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 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 cannot change the approved property. 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.
- What if conclusion of missives is delayed for my 2021-22 application?
We are giving applicants longer than 3 months to conclude missives, provided the transaction concludes within the normal 9 month validity period or by 31 March 2022, whichever is earlier.
- Will applications re-open?
The Scottish Government has taken the decision not to reopen the Help to Buy (Scotland) (Affordable New Build and Smaller Developers Schemes) and the First Home Fund next financial year 2022-23.
The Help to Buy (Scotland) Smaller Developers Scheme is open for applications for completion in financial year 2021-22. Help to Buy and First Home Fund applications which have been approved for completion in 2021-22 will continue to be funded.
The Scottish Government will continue to fund the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity Scheme and the LIFT New Supply Shared Equity Scheme in 2022-23.
- Why are Help to Buy (Scotland) and First Home Fund closing?
As signalled in Housing to 2040, the Scottish Government wants to shift the focus of support to helping people to renovate, adapt or improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
These schemes were set up to support buyers at times when mortgage lenders were less likely to lend to those with a smaller deposit. Help to Buy, in particular, aimed to support the housebuilding sector and buyers after the financial crash in 2008. However, the steady recovery in the higher loan-to-value mortgage market and the strong housebuilding sector mean that the time is now right for the Scottish Government to step back.
- Can I still apply for the First Home Fund or Help to Buy for completion in 2021-22?
The First Home Fund and the Help to Buy (Scotland) Affordable New Build Scheme (i.e. the main scheme) are closed. No new applications can be accepted for these schemes.
However, the Help to Buy (Scotland) Smaller Developers Scheme remains open for applications due to complete in 2021-22. LIFT is also open for applications, details of which are available from Shared equity Scotland | Link Group (linkhousing.org.uk) and the Scottish Government.
- My property settlement date may be delayed beyond 31 March 2022. Will an extension be granted?
Due to supply chain issues and Covid-19, any Help to Buy (Scotland) and First Home Fund settlements that are delayed beyond 31 March 2022 will be honoured. Please let us know as soon as possible of any changes to settlement dates.
Please note this only applies to transactions that have already been approved and not to new applications received from today.
- What length of extension can I request?
While transactions which are delayed and cannot settle by 31 March 2022 will be honoured, a reason for the delay and an estimated new settlement date should be provided. Where new settlement dates cannot be provided these cases will be considered on an individual basis as to reason and likelihood of any settlement being achieved.
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
- Scottish Building Society
- 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
- Solicitors Confirmation Letter Accuracy Calculator
- Solicitor Form Completion Guidance
- Acceptable evidence
Link’s Shared Equity After Sales team provides a range of services and transactions for buyers who purchased their home through one of the Scottish Government’s shared equity schemes.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 0330 303 0555.