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Affordable Housing

Cheshire East Council is committed to helping local people secure their own homes who might not otherwise be able to afford a property at full market value by working with registered housing providers and developers. Cheshire East Council allows access to a range of homes for sale below market levels via shared equity and discounted for sale options.

The options available are dependent on the properties that are currently for sale and what type of discount they have attached to them. There is a difference between the purchase schemes.

Properties that are available for purchase under the Discounted for Sale scheme enable a buyer to own a home at a percentage of the open market value and this percentage discount stays with every sale of the property.

Shared equity also enables a buyer to purchase a home at a discounted rate but the new owner will enter in to an agreement with Cheshire East Council to either sell the property with the discount attached or to purchase the remaining percentage after a period of time and therefore removing the property from the affordable scheme. All properties available via the scheme will be subject to certain criteria.

Another option for affordable home ownership is by means of shared ownership which is not applied for through Cheshire East Council but through registered housing providers.

Who is eligible?

Shared equity

Discounted for sale

Shared ownership

Selling a discounted property

How can I apply?

Eligibility

  • Local Connection - applicants must have lived within Cheshire East for a specified amount of time, have a permanent contract of employment in the area or have an immediate family member who resides in Cheshire East
  • Housing need - applicants must not be able to afford the property at its current open market value.  Open market value is the price that the property would sell if it didn't have an affordable element

Along with your application form, you will be required to send us a signed, letter headed statement from an FCA accredited finance advisor. Your finance advisor will need to let us know that based on your circumstances you would not be able to afford the property you are applying for at the full open market value and could only afford it at the discounted price.

Cheshire East do not keep a list of qualifying applicants, all properties have to be applied for individually and acceptance on to the scheme for any property is on a first come, first serve basis and dependent on qualifying criteria being met.

Criteria may vary and are specific to each scheme so please check with us before completing an application form if you have any queries about your eligibility. Please check with the registered provider for shared ownership eligibility criteria.

Shared equity

  • Properties are offered for sale to eligible purchasers at less than the full market value.  For example, a £100,000 property with a 30% discount would be offered to an eligible applicant for £70,000.
  • The purchaser owns 100% of the property, there is no rent percentage to pay
  • The property has to be the sole residence of the purchaser
  • If the property is leasehold, please check with the external property management company regarding any ground rents and services charges as these are outside the remit of Cheshire East Council
  • If the property is sold, it must be at the same discount on which it was purchased to someone who meets the criteria for affordable housing
  • A legal charge is placed on the property whereby the purchaser enters into an agreement with Cheshire East Council for the 30%. There is an option after a period of time which allows the owner to purchase the remaining 30%. This will remove the property from the affordable scheme.
  • The 30% has to be bought out within 25 years.

Discounted for Sale

  • Properties are offered for sale to eligible purchasers at less than the full market value.  For example, a £100,000 property with a 30% discount would be offered to an eligible applicant for £70,000.
  • The purchaser owns 100% of the property, there is no rent percentage to pay
  • The property has to be the sole residence of the purchaser
  • If the property is leasehold, please check with the external property management company regarding any ground rents and services charges as these are outside the remit of Cheshire East Council
  • If the property is sold, it must be at the same discount on which it was purchased to someone who meets the criteria for affordable housing
  • The discounted rate is applied for the lifetime of the property to ensure it remains permanently affordable.

Shared ownership

Applying for a Shared Ownership home is done through individual registered housing providers.

  • Properties may be available to purchase from as little as a 25% share
  • Rent is payable to the registered housing provider on the percentage not owned
  • Staircasing (at present 10% increments can be purchased to increase ownership percentage) is usually possible after the first 12 months
  • Service charges and ground rents may apply. Please check with the registered housing provider.

In many cases it may be possible to staircase to 100% and own the property outright; however, on certain sites (especially in rural areas) staircasing may be restricted, for example to 80% ownership. This way, the registered housing provider retains ownership of a small percentage of the property, to ensure that the property continues to be available as affordable housing for the next buyer when you move on.

Selling a discounted for sale/shared equity property

You are required, under the terms of the documents relating to your property which you entered into upon your purchase, to contact the Affordable Housing Team prior to placing your affordable property for sale on the open market.

  • Send us details of your property and your intention to sell and we will send over a guidance sheet
  • Send us a current RICS valuation of your property.
  • Cheshire East Council will have a period of time to ‘nominate’ a buyer for your property once it is marketed for sale. This gives the opportunity for someone who meets the eligibility criteria to purchase an affordable home. Nomination periods can differ depending on the development but are generally between 3 and 6 months.
  • The property must be sold at the discounted value or lower even if the ‘nomination’ period has elapsed.

Applying for affordable housing

  • Shared Equity and Discount for Sale - apply online by visiting; Affordable Housing Application
  • Shared Ownership new build properties and re-sales - contact Help to Buy North West for further information by visiting www.helptobuynw.org.uk or calling 0300 790 0570. Help to Buy North West is the agent appointed by the Government to provide access to Help to Buy and Shared Ownership products in the Cheshire East area.

Cheshire East Council do not advertise properties, so please check for any that might be for sale with your local estate agency, developer websites and property websites.