Our aim

Our aim is to keep the district's communities and economy thriving. Part of this is to make sure there are homes of varying sizes and tenures in a range of locations to suit different needs. We recognise that many people who live or work in the district, even those who earn a reasonable income, can have difficulties buying a home. We work with registered providers (what many people know as housing associations) to help people get onto the property ladder. We do this mostly through the Help to Buy shared ownership scheme, where you own a share of the property and also pay reduced rent.

In addition, there are the Help to Buy equity loans and ISAs, which help people who have a smaller deposit buy a home built by private developers. More details can be found in the "Helping you afford a home of your own" leaflet and the Help to Buy website

pdf icon Helping you afford a home of your own [1Mb]

Help to Buy shared ownership

Shared ownership schemes let you pay part mortgage and part rent. In this way, you buy a share of the property while paying a reduced rent on the remaining share. You can buy a larger share later and your rent will reduce proportionally. You could, if you wish, eventually own all your home. You may want to consider this scheme if you cannot secure a high enough mortgage (usually three times your salary) to buy a property outright.

Future shared ownership developments

Between 2019 and 2020, the following are some of the shared ownership schemes being developed:

  • Birdham, Rowan Nursery - 2 bedroom house
  • Boxgrove, Land West of Abbots Close - 2 bedroom houses
  • Chichester, Chapel Green & Courtyards - 3 bedroom houses
  • Chichester, West of Frederick Road - 1 and 2 bedroom flats
  • East Wittering, Clappers Lane - 2 and 3 bedroom houses
  • Oving, Shopwyke Lakes - 1,2 & 3 bedroom flats
  • Southbourne, Garsons Road - 2 and 3 bedroom houses
  • Southbourne, Nutbourne Pallant Homes - 2 bedroom houses
  • Southbourne, Priors Orchard - 1 and 2 bedroom flats & 2 and 3 bedroom houses
  • Wisborough Green - 2 and 3 bedroom houses

The available properties change all the time as some are sold and others, including resales, are added. The Help to Buy shared ownership  website gives the most up-to-date information for properties currently for sale in the district. Click on the Help to Buy agent tab, then South East, then West Sussex tabs, and enter "Chichester" or the postcode.

Help to Buy equity loans and ISAs

If you only have a 5% deposit these Help to Buy schemes can help. Help to Buy is a government backed initiative to help you buy a home of your choice. There are two elements; Help to Buy equity loans and Help to Buy mortgage guarantee:

Help to Buy equity loans. This scheme helps you buy a new home on a specific development. You own the whole property from the start. You fund at least 80% of its value with a mortgage, and a deposit which can be as low as 5%. The remaining amount, up to 20%, is provided by an equity loan provided jointly by the developer and the Government. An equity loan is repaid through the increase in value of the property rather than regular capital and interest payments. There are no payments on the loan for the first five years. After this, there is a yearly fee of 1.75%, increasing in line with inflation. In addition, you pay the mortgage repayment monthly in the usual way. When you sell the property, you repay the loan by repaying the same percentage of the sale cost as you borrowed. For example, with a 20% equity loan:

Example of help to buy repayment
Percentage of the saleSale cost
Property value year 1  £200,000
Mortgage (75%)£150,000
Deposit (5%)£10,000
Equity loan (20%)£40,000
Property value when later sold: £240,000
Increase in value£40,000
Mortgage repaid£150,000
Equity loan repaid at 20% of current property value£48,000
Increase in value that you keep £42,000

Help to Buy ISA. If you are a first time buyer and you new home doesn't cost more than £250,000, the government will boost your savings by up to £3,000 through a Help to Buy ISA. This is £3,000 per person, so a couple can double their savings. You can save up to £200 per month and in the first month you can deposit up to £1,200. You can open the ISA through banks and building societies and your solicitor will claim it for you.

For more information on Help to Buy equity loans, mortgage guarantees and ISAs, visit  Help to Buy initiatives .

Other affordable housing initiatives

Discounted purchase and shared equity

There are small numbers of homes, mostly in Chichester, Tangmere and Selsey, which are kept for people with a local connection to the district to buy at less than market value (i.e. discounted purchase). A local connection includes living or working here, having close family here, or having previously lived in the district but being forced to move away because of a lack of affordable housing. These properties must be sold on, at the same percentage discount, to other local people.

With shared equity you buy all the home at a reduced percentage of the market value. The balancing percentage is held by the developer, by a legal charge on the property. However unlike shared ownership, no rent is paid on it. You can buy out the developer's interest if you wish, so your home is then free of any developer's ties. If you don't, and you sell, you will pay back this balancing percentage from the equity in the property. There are shared equity homes in Chidham and Lavant.

The council is not normally involved in the resales of these properties, except for approving new purchasers, as they are advertised privately. We are looking to provide more of these opportunities in the future.

Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme

If you meet the length of service requirements, you maybe eligible for a loan of up to 50% of your salary to a £25,000 maximum. The applications are made through the services' Joint Personnel Administration system.

 The government has also produced a how to buy guide provides homeowners and prospective homeowners with a helpful overview of the process of buying a home.

It sets out:

  • the important steps along the way to purchasing a property
  • which organisations can help
  • where readers can find more information