Which scheme can you afford?

If you earn up to £60,000 you qualify for affordable housing. But how do you decide which scheme you can afford?

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Independent financial advice: You’ll need to register with your local HomeBuy Agent, who can put you in touch with independent financial advisers as can housing associations.

Getting a mortgage: Banks and building societies prefer equity-loan schemes to shared ownership.

Mortgage deals on equity-loan schemes: OwnHome (equity loan of up to 40 per cent towards a private-market property). Places for People, the housing association involved, works in partnership with the Co-op, the sole lender. No deposit required.

MyChoice HomeBuy (equity loan of up to 50 per cent towards a private-market property) is run by a consortium of housing associations and supported by major lenders.

HomeBuy Direct (equity loan of up to 30 per cent towards a new-build property) is run by developers and supported by several major lenders.

Mortgage deals on shared ownership: Lenders include Abbey, Dudley Building Society, Woolwich, Halifax and Nationwide. Most stipulate a minimum 25 per cent share. Deposits are typically 10 to 15 per cent.

Incentives: To help hard-pressed shared owners, some housing associations offer purchase incentives. Family Mosaic, for instance, pays your legal fees, gives you a £4,000 furniture package and guarantees a resale price.

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