Am I Eligible?
Everyone who buys or rents through FIRST STEPS must meet a set of headline eligibility criteria that is specified below, but before reading further, please note the following.
- In addition to the general eligibility notes below, additional criteria may be specified by local planning authorities for specific developments. You should check the property listing you are interested in for further details.
You are eligible if...
- You have a gross household income of no more than £90,000 per annum.
- You are unable to purchase a suitable home to meet your housing needs on the open market.
- You do not already own a home or you will have sold your current home before you purchase or rent.
- Priority will go to Armed Forces personnel (serving military personnel and former members of the British Armed Forces discharged in the last 2 years).
Where there are multiple customers looking to purchase or rent a home priority will be given in the first instance to British Armed Forces Personnel, and then, on a first come, first served basis. Once you have found a home that meets your requirements you should discuss this with the housing provider.
20th September 2017
Shared Ownership Week returns for its fifth year, 21st - 27th September. Shared Ownership week raises awareness this home ownership scheme which offers a life line to thousands of first time buyers.
19th September 2017
Countdown to the London Home Show Autumn 2017: Our sponsor Crest Nicholson give you the low down on their fantastic development Dylon Works, available via Help to Buy London.
18th September 2017
Countdown to the London Home Show Autumn 2017: Hear Marco and Olga's story about buying their first home for their young family with Notting Hill Sales.
16th September 2017
Countdown to the London Home Show Autumn 2017: L&Q's Lucy Chitty dispells some of the myths about home ownership.
FIRST STEPS is committed to the promotion of all types of accessible housing in London. We want to make the journey into your new home as simple as possible and to be sure that you know what to look for when searching for an affordable accessible home. All developments must be rated according to the type of accessibility they offer. That is why we have the following guide, based on the information provided in the Mayor of London's Accessible Housing Register, to help you understand what the rating of each property actually means.
A - Wheelchair Accessible Throughout
Meets the design standards from the Wheelchair Housing Design Guide which superseded the Housing Corporation wheelchair design standards. These properties have been designed to meet latest wheelchair accessible housing design standards, offering extra space and full access to all rooms and facilities. This standard provides more space than previous wheelchair housing design guidance and also ensures that all rooms are accessibly. In view of the high density of new build housing stock in London, the parking features have been excluded from this category. This will enable wheelchair accessible homes built above ground floor level to be categorised as such.
B - Wheelchair Accessible essential rooms
Complies with the Wheelchair Housing Design Guidance within the Housing Corporation Scheme Development Standards. Properties designed of adapted to provide access for wheelchair users to essential facilities of the property (that is, a bedroom, bathroom, toilet, living room and kitchen). Other rooms in the house such as additional bedrooms or bathrooms may not be wheelchair accessible.
C - Lifetime Homes
Meets the space standards of the Lifetime Homes developed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Designed to meet the space standards of Lifetime Homes. Main features include a level approach/entrance and wider doorways. This category will capture all new general needs housing built to Lifetime Homes standards. Properties achieving this category will not necessarily meet all Lifetime Homes design guidance as the LAHR framework does not assess features other than space and access. Properties may have an internal flight of stairs. If so, these will be wide enough to accommodate future provision of a stair lift subject to technical feasibility.
D - Easy Access
Compatible with the design standards in Mobility Standard Housing (1974) produced by the DoE and Housing Corporation Scheme Development Standards (pre-1999) and Part M of Building Regulations (2000). The main features of these properties include a level approach to the entrance, wider doorways and more space than in general needs housing. These properties may also have an internal flight of stairs and if so, there is enough space to accommodate future provision of a stair lift subject to technical feasibility.
E - Step Free
No published access design guidance. These are properties that are considered general needs housing but have a level approach/entrance into the property and throughout. Properties in this category that have an internal flight of stair will be likely to accommodate future provision of a stair lift subject to technical feasibility.
E+. Minimal steps
No published access design guidance. Properties that do not meet any accessibly housing design guidance and have a limited number of steps to enter the property. Properties in this category will have no more than four steps to access the front door and are likely to be ground floor properties or properties in a block with a lift and a small number of communal or property front door steps.
F - General Needs
General needs housing does not meet any of the above criteria. Properties in this category will have more than four steps or a ramp access that is steeper than 1:10 to access the property front door. These properties should be marketed with the number of steps to access the property as this will provide an additional factor for helping people choosing what to bid for.
The Accessible Housing Register captures the essential information which determines the category awarded to a property. Additional information is also collected. This includes:
- Details of major adaptations such as level access showers and stair lifts
- Private garden or balcony
- Proximity to local shops
- Proximity to public transport
The following information clarifies when armed forces personnel can be considered a priority group.
Armed Forces Personnel
To be considered a priority, armed forces personnel must have completed basic (phase 1) training and fall into one of the following categories:
- Regular service personnel (including Military Provost Guards Service in the Army, Navy, Air Force)
- Clinical staff (excluding doctors and dentists)
- MoD police officers
- Uniformed staff in the Defence Fire Service
- Ex-regular service personnel (who have served in the Armed Forces for a minimum of six years and can produce a Discharge certificate, or similar document). Applications must be within 12 months of discharge
- The surviving partners of regular service personnel who have died in service may be eligible to be prioritised where they apply within 12 months of the date of being bereaved
The following roles are prioritised for Rent only:
- Full Time Reserve Service (Full Commitment)
- Individuals who have not completed basic training