Updated Scottish Government scheme gives more homebuyers a LIFT

Scottish homebuyers are getting onto the property ladder thanks to changes to the Scottish Government’s LIFT (Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers) Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme.

Changes to the LIFT scheme, which allows buyers to get between 10% and 40% towards the price of a home purchased on the open market, mean applicants are no longer restricted to the size of property they can buy, as long as they meet the financial criteria and the property is large enough to avoid overcrowding. Price thresholds have also increased in 26 local authority areas.

Amy, a recent LIFT scheme buyer said: “I thought I would only be able to buy a small flat in an area I would not be happy to live in long term, however, the LIFT scheme allowed me to buy an affordable home with enough rooms for when I have a family.

“I previously paid more in private rent for a one-bedroom flat or to share a two-bedroom flat than I am on my mortgage. It’s also meant I could buy much sooner than planned and it's a property for most of my adult life. I am so grateful the LIFT scheme exists.”

Link Housing administers the LIFT scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government in all 32 local authority areas. 

Link Group Commercial Director, Colin Culross said: “LIFT was introduced to support first-time buyers and other priority groups on low incomes to buy their own home and has since helped thousands of people across Scotland to achieve something they may have thought was out of reach.

“We welcome the recent changes to the scheme and are confident it will help even more people access home ownership, and our highly skilled team is on hand to support them throughout the process.”

In addition to first-time buyers, the LIFT scheme is open to current social tenants, as well as people with a disability, and people aged 60 and over who can demonstrate a housing need.

Members of the armed forces, veterans who have left the armed forces within the past two years, and widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel whose partner has lost their life while serving in the armed forces within the last two years, are also eligible for the scheme.

Homebuyers who meet the criteria are urged visit www.linkhousing.org.uk/LIFT or text ‘LIFT’ to 66777 for more information and to apply for the scheme.