FIRST STEPS offers options to Londoners who cannot get a foot on the housing ladder. These are provided by a range of housing associations providing new homes in the capital.
FIRST STEPS offers you two main product options:
- Shared Ownership: you purchase a new or existing home from a housing association. You purchase the maximum share in the property that you can afford with a minimum requirement of 25% and pay rent on the remaining share (often referred to as part buy part rent). Homes are either brand new or being sold by existing shared owners. The rent on the outstanding share is usually set a maximum of 3% on the value of that share when the home is first sold. Rent levels on resale homes can be higher. Find out more about Shared Ownership
- Rent to Save: you rent for a fixed period, up to five years, at up to 80% of the equivalent market rent for that property, with a fixed rate of inflation. A savings plan is put into place to help you save for a deposit. At any point during the tenancy you can purchase on shared ownership or shared equity terms. If you are no longer wish or are able to buy you can end your tenancy on the terms of your agreement. Find out more about Rent to Save
Further options available:
- Help to Buy: you purchase a minimum of 80% of the property with a mortgage and a deposit. You need to be able to raise a minimum deposit equivalent to 5% of the value of the property. NO fee will be charged on the loan for the first five years. After that you will pay a fee on each of the equity loans of 1.75%, rising annually by the increase in the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 1%. Find out more about Help to Buy
- Discount Full Ownership: you purchase 100% of a new home from a specialist private developer at a discount of 80% to the open market value. These homes are primarily one-bedroom apartments and prices are capped at £231,000 regardless of local values. Find out more about Discount Full Ownership
You should also review the other options page for other products that you may be suitable for.
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
For further information on shared ownership schemes in the London area, you may wish to contact local Housing Associations directly.