Home Ownership for people with Long-term Disabilities (HOLD): Q&A

What is HOLD?

Home Ownership for People with Long-term Disabilities (HOLD) is not a separate housing product but a route into shared ownership. Applicants should apply for affordable home ownership assistance in the standard way, through their local Help to Buy Agent, and must meet the Agency’s general eligibility criteria (that is, they should be first time buyers or be defined as being in housing need) with a household income of less than £80,000 per year or no more than £90,000 for London.

What kinds of properties are available?

Applicants for government-funded affordable home ownership assistance have access to a range of new build properties produced with Homes England’s grant-funding. If a property that meets the applicant’s needs is available through a Registered Provider’s new build stock, the applicant will be expected to accept the offered property.

However, where a second hand home is purchased on the open market, it will not be eligible for the full 10-year repairs and maintenance free period available for newly built Shared Ownership homes. The 10-year repair period will be reduced to take account of the age of the property. For example, a home which was built 4 years ago would have a repairs period of 6 years.

What happens if existing shared ownership properties are not suitable for my needs?

If there are no shared ownership properties available in a particular area or the existing shared ownership properties are unsuitable, purchase of a property on the open market may be considered. This is fully dependent on a participating Registered Provider.   

In these cases, if a provider is known, your Help to Buy agent will be able to refer you to this specialist Registered Provider who may be able to assist you further. This will also be dependent on the specialist provider being able to financially support the purchase. Applications for HOLD funding in these cases will require a letter of support from the applicant’s Local Authority, stating that the applicant has a specific disability that means that standard new build Shared Ownership properties are unsuitable in their area, or that an applicant needs to live in a particular area where no suitable shared ownership properties are available.

If HOLD is not available in your area, your Local Authority will be able to discuss the other housing options available to you to meet your needs, this may not be linked to home ownership but may be via alterative options such as local authority rental schemes.

Important additional information

HOLD is a voluntary scheme. The provision of HOLD funding is dependent on the following factors:

  • A specialist Registered Provider offering HOLD assistance within a particular area is required
  • Applicants need to be able to sustain the cost of home ownership. This will require applicants to either have a lump sum sufficient to cover the initial purchase without the need for a mortgage, or an on-going source of income sufficient to secure mortgage finance.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE CURRENTLY Limited LENDERS PROVIDING INTEREST ONLY MORTGAGES FOR APPLICANTS INTENDING TO COVER THEIR MORTGAGE REPAYMENTS SOLELY THROUGH THE SUPPORT FOR MORTGAGE INTEREST (SMI) BENEFIT. Applicants wishing to explore the mortgage options can visit www.mysafehome.info

Applicants are strongly advised to get independent financial advice on what assistance may be available to them, and their ability to afford shared ownership.


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