The way you access a Help to Buy agent is changing
From 2 January 2020, you will be able to apply for help to buy schemes from one of three agents across England. This means our current Help to Buy agents’ services will shortly be replaced.
The changes should not affect your house purchase.
If you are buying a new home using a Help to Buy: Equity Loan, we will automatically transfer everything to your new agent, so that they can continue to support your equity loan application and house purchase.
If you have any questions, please get in touch.
OPSO – Older People’s Shared Ownership
How does it work?
This scheme gives retired people lower living costs, than if they owned a home on the open market. It is available solely to the over 55’s.
In the same way as standard Shared Ownership, you buy an initial share that you can afford, helping you get into home ownership in manageable stages. However, the main difference is the maximum share you can ever own through OPSO is 75%.
The Housing Association or Registered Provider will offer initial shares of between 25% - 75% of the full purchase price. You pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share that the Housing Association or Registered Provider still own.
In the future you can simply sell your share for its value at the time or alternatively you can purchase further shares in your home.
If you choose to buy the maximum 75%, you will pay no rent on the remaining 25%.
*Some OPSO developments offer sheltered Shared Ownership schemes (sometimes known as Extra Care) which are designed to provide residents with the ability to live independently in self-contained, modern homes, but with access to care and support services tailored to their individual needs.
Am I eligible?
If you are applying for a standard OPSO scheme:
- You must be aged over 55
- Your annual household income can be no more than £80,000.
- You should be unable to purchase a home suitable for your needs without assistance.
- You will need to sell any existing property owned before buying through OPSO, but you will not require a Local Authority nomination in order to be approved as eligible.
- You must not have any outstanding credit issues (i.e. unsatisfied defaults or county court judgments).
*If applying for an Extra Care OPSO development, you must have a minimum number of hours care requirement per week and a connection to the local area. Minimum care requirement will vary between developments.
How do I apply?
For standard OPSO schemes, you will need to fill out the Help to Buy East and South East application form.
Online application form or Downloadable PDF version
You can then search for available properties on our website, and contact the Housing Association or Registered Provider selling the property to let them know you are interested.
Search for a property
*For Extra Care OPSO schemes, please contact your Housing Association or Registered Provider for the relevant application form.