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04/11/15 11:00

Fresh help for home buyers

More funding to help home seekers get foot on property ladder.

Funding for a Scottish Government scheme which helps people get on the housing ladder is being increased by £10 million, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil confirmed today.

Investment in the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE), which helps eligible first-time buyers on low to moderate incomes buy a home on the open market, will top £80 million in 2015/16.

Assistance is in the form of an interest-free loan with eligible buyers required to purchase between 60 and 90 per cent of the value of a home, for sale on the open market, within certain price thresholds.

In Livingston, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil visited the home of Paul Miller and Ashleigh Whitelaw who purchased a home with assistance from the scheme.

Mr Neil said: “We want to help young people on low to moderate incomes to access home ownership where this is sensible and sustainable for them.

“Our popular OMSE scheme helps first time buyers, like Paul and Ashleigh, who would not otherwise be able to afford to buy their first home to get a foot on the housing ladder.

“OMSE provides priority access to social renters, disabled people, and members of the armed forces although it is open to all first time buyers. It also helps ‘second-steppers’ to be able to sell their home and to move to a new property.

“Since 2007, our Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) shared equity schemes have helped over 10,000 people get a foot on the property ladder.”

Notes to editors

On 11th September 2013 in the Scottish Parliament, Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced £390 million for the Affordable Housing Supply Programme. From this, £30 million has been allocated to OMSE in 2015/16.

On 9th October 2014 in the Scottish Parliament, Finance Secretary John Swinney announced an extra £125 million of financial support for the housing sector in Scotland. From this, £40 million has been allocated to OMSE.

This provides a total allocation to OMSE in 2015/16 of £80 million.

Further information about OMSE is available at: