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. In rural areas, we work to address the particular challenges of rural housing needs.

We offer two schemes: 

  • shared equity - buy at a discount and either sell with the discount still in place or buy the remainder of the property after an agreed period
  • discounted for sale - buy a percentage of the property at a discount, sell with the same discount 

We do not offer shared ownership schemes (where you buy a share, pay rent on the rest and can buy a bigger share over time). These are run by registered housing providers. See Help to buy - shared ownership for more information. Note that although the Help to Buy website has a 'find a property' search, not all properties may be listed. Check estate agents, online property sites and social housing provider websites.

Also see the Help to Buy website for details of central government schemes such as equity loans and the mortgage guarantee scheme.

Eligibility for affordable housing

To be eligible for affordable housing, you must have both a local connection and a housing need. You will also need to meet any specific criteria for the individual development - check with the developer or contact our housing team.

  • 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 (the price without the affordable element)

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
  • you have the option to pay for the remaining share of the property for a period of up to 25 years - 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 at the original discount 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 sale must be at the original discount and 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, so the property stays 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 applied before but did not get a property, you will need to apply again.

We accept people for each property on a first-come, first served basis.

Evidence we need:

1. A signed, letter-headed statement from a financial advisor accredited by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The statement must confirm that you cannot afford the property at the full open market value and could only afford it at the discounted price.

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 member's Cheshire East address
  • a letter from your employer confirming you have a permanent contract to work in Cheshire East 

How to apply for shared equity and discount for sale homes

Apply online once you have found a property you want to buy. You will need to give details of your finances and can upload your evidence documents in the form.  

Apply for affordable housing

Contact us 

Email: lowcosthomeownership@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Telephone: 01270 685646 

Page last reviewed: 17 May 2021