Do I qualify for affordable housing?

I'm a nurse who has been working for two years. Do I qualify for help with affordable housing?
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Question: My daughter, a nurse, has been working for two years and is keen to buy a flat. She thinks she might be eligible for affordable housing, and that she could possibly get some help with buying. What does “affordable housing” mean?

Answer: Councils and housing associations — now called registered providers — used to build social rented housing or council houses, and the rents would be based on local property values and incomes. 

Social rented housing now also includes affordable homes and aims to provide different choices of accommodation for people on varying incomes.

Your daughter may be thinking about shared-ownership housing, where you can part-buy and part-rent a property, or key worker accommodation, which is offered  by some registered providers as  an affordable housing product. Key workers are those who work in particular roles — including nursing — in certain sectors, such as the NHS. 

Eligibility will be considered individually, but generally there are requirements about income levels and being employed in a key worker profession.

Your daughter should contact  her local HomeBuy Agent who can  go through the range of options available to her in the area, whether for key worker accommodation or other social housing options. 

She could also consider the Help  to Buy scheme, which offers up to  20 per cent equity loan funded by the Government on new-build properties.

There are many options that your daughter needs to research carefully and compare.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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