Affordable housing to buy

We work with developers and home builders to provide affordable homes to people who cannot afford to pay full market value and who meet eligibility criteria

The Cheshire East Council affordable scheme offers shared equity and discounted for sale homes. The UK Government has recently set up the First Homes scheme:

  • shared equity - buy the property at a discount and either sell with the discount still in place or buy the remainder of the property after a 5 year period
  • discounted for sale - buy the property at a discount, sell with the same discount
  • First homes - local first-time buyers and key workers can purchase a home with a 30% discount. 

We do not administer applications for shared ownership schemes. These are run by registered housing providers. To find a shared ownership property check estate agents, developers, online property sites and social housing provider websites.

Eligibility for affordable housing

To be eligible for affordable housing, you must have both a local connection and a housing need. Applicants cannot currently own a home. You will also need to meet any specific criteria for the individual development - please contact our housing team for further information.

  • local connection - you must have lived within Cheshire East for a set amount of time, have a permanent contract of employment in the area, or have an immediate family member who lives here
  • housing need - you must be able to show you cannot afford the property at its current open market value, but can afford the property with the discount applied.

Shared equity schemes

  • the property is sold at less than the full market value -  for example, a £100,000 property with a 30% discount would cost £70,000.
  • you own 100% of the property - there is no rent percentage to pay
  • the property must be your only home
  • the remaining discount can be purchased after a period of 5 years - this removes the property from the affordable scheme
  • if you own the property for 25 years, the discounted amount must be repaid to the council - this removes the property from the affordable scheme. 
  • if you sell the property and have not bought out the remaining share, you must sell it with the discount applied and to someone who meets the criteria for affordable housing (for the process, see selling an affordable property
  • you may need to pay ground rent and service charges if the property is leasehold - check with the developer or property management company 

Discounted for sale schemes

  • the property is sold at less than the full market value -  for example, a £100,000 property with a 30% discount would cost £70,000.
  • you own 100% of the property - there is no rent percentage to pay
  • the property must be your only home
  • if you sell the property, the discount must be applied and be sold to someone who meets the criteria for affordable housing (for the process, see selling an affordable property)
  • the original discount percentage and eligibility criteria then apply to every future sale, to keep the property affordable
  • you may need to pay ground rent and service charges if the property is  leasehold - check with the developer or property management company 

Applying for shared equity and discount for sale homes

To find a property, check with estate agents, developers and property websites - we do not advertise properties for sale.

If you have previously applied and were unsuccessful, you will need to send a new application form and relevant supporting documents for the property you wish to be considered for.   

Application forms and supporting documents for each property are assessed on a first-come, first served basis.

Once the sale/purchase process begins and you instruct your own conveyancer, fees to the Cheshire East Council legal team will be charged. A fee will be charged even if the sale/purchase process is halted for any reason by the purchaser or the vendor. You should speak to your conveyancer regarding the fees payable to the Cheshire East Council legal team.

How to apply for shared equity and discount for sale homes

If you see a home listed for sale on the scheme and wish to apply, the online link is below and you will need to provide the following supporting documentation which can be uploaded via the online form:

1. A signed, letter-headed statement from a financial advisor accredited by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The statement should refer to the property value and include the name/s of any applicant/s. It must confirm that based on your circumstances, mortgage ability and deposit amount, you cannot afford the property at the full open market value and could only afford it at the discounted price. Please ensure this letter is attached to your application form.

2. Evidence of your local connection - one of the following:

  • proof of your Cheshire East address, such as a utility bill or council tax bill
  • proof of an immediate family (parents/siblings/children) member's Cheshire East address. 
  • a letter from your employer confirming you have a permanent contract to work in Cheshire East 
  • ensure that your local connection evidence is attached to your application form.

Apply for affordable housing

The form will take 20 minutes to complete. To find out how we use your information see our privacy notice.

Contact affordable housing

Email: lowcosthomeownership@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Telephone: 07929 824966 

Page last reviewed: 20 May 2024