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Who is classified as a Key Worker?
Throughout the early 2020s you’d probably heard the term ‘Key Worker’ used more frequently than usual. Undoubtedly, as a country, the UK population had to rely on them more heavily than ever before within recent history. They are those individuals classified as critical to the smooth continuation of the UK’s societal infrastructure, whatever the circumstances. Key Workers include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Fire service
- NHS staff
- Prison and probation services
- State education services
- Armed forces
- Local authority workers
- Environmental officers
- Care Workers
What is a Key Worker mortgage?
The Key Worker Living Programmer, which was started in 2001 and ended in 2019. It was created to help those in critical public service roles to be able to afford to either buy or rent a home. Whilst a part of the scheme was the ‘Key Worker mortgage’ there were also a number of housing associations throughout that period that did build properties specifically intended for those who were eligible for the scheme to get onto the property ladder.
The scheme no longer exists as it did in 2019. However, there have been a number of government home ownership schemes put in place to provide a similar opportunity. These schemes are available to all applicants, and not only key workers. The intention is that those Key Workers who live in higher-priced areas are able to secure a mortgage and buy their own home.
Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme (now currently closed)
The Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme was created to enable First Time Buyers to borrow up to 20% (40% in London) towards their deposit requirement. This would make mortgages more achievable for those with a small deposit availability. The scheme required that you have a 5% minimum deposit available. They will then top up this amount, in order that you have a more significant deposit to offer the Mortgage Lender. This will also bring down the Loan to Value (LTV) ratio.
As a result, it would be easier to qualify for a mortgage. Additionally, the mortgage rates attached to a 75% Loan to Value mortgage will usually be more competitive. This means lower repayments on your mortgage. You also won’t need to pay interest on the loan for the first five years. But from the sixth year, you will begin paying interest, although not the capital, which you can choose to pay off at any time, either in full or in instalments of at least 10% of the loan value.
There were price caps on the price of the property you were able to buy under this scheme. These vary depending upon where you live. For example, if you lived in the North East, the cap is at £180,000. However, those living in London were entitled to purchase property up to the value of £600,000.
The 2021-2023 Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme closed to new applications at 6pm on 31st October 2022. All eligible homebuyers had to legally complete by 31 March 2023.
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Right to Buy
If you’re already the tenant of a local authority or housing association property, you may be entitled to purchase it through the Right to buy scheme. This is not offered to all tenants and availability varies both regionally and by individual housing associations. You can use the eligibility checker on the scheme’s website to find out if this is an option for you.
To qualify for this scheme your rental property must be your only or main home and be self-contained (not a bedsit, for example). You will also need to have been the tenant of a local authority landlord for the past three years. This does not need to be continuously or all with one landlord and can include any housing association or council rental you have lived in.
This is a great option for those on a lower income because properties sold through the scheme are offered at a significantly lower price than the normal market value for a similar residential property in the area.
The Shared Ownership Scheme is another valuable option. This is aimed at those on a lower income or who are struggling to save a substantial deposit. It allows the applicant to purchase a percentage of a housing association property. You usually purchase between 25-75% to begin with and rent the remainder of the property. If or when you can afford to increase your ownership, you have the opportunity to do so, until you eventually own it outright.
Again, the scheme is intended to provide help for those in Key Worker roles. However, it is available to anyone who brings in less than £80,000 as a household (£90,000 in London). You don’t need to be a First Time Buyer, but you must not currently be able to afford to own a property in full (you can own a share of a property).
How can Mortgage Broker Services help me?
At Mortgage Broker Services we’ve helped many Key Workers find the mortgage deal most suited to their needs. As well as providing mortgage advice on the full range of government schemes you may be entitled to, we can help with your mortgage application and the administrative side of the process. We understand that Key Workers carry out an important role in society. Therefore, we will provide you with all the support we can to ensure that you can purchase a new home without the bother and stress.
YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT.