Need a LIFT to buy a home?

lorna-linkLorna Dunsmore, Commercial Services Manager 
of Link Housing Association, writes for about the Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT).

Many people are struggling to secure deposits for properties, and some may not even take the first step. A recent article suggests that the average deposit for a home put down by first-time buyers has doubled since 2007.

The Scottish Government runs the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme.  You pay for a majority stake in a property for sale on the open market – normally 60% to 90% – with the Scottish Government providing funding to pay for the rest.

The deposit for a property through LIFT can be as little as 5%, opening up the opportunity to buy a home to first-time buyers throughout Scotland.

Many people may be disillusioned by the fact they can’t secure enough of a mortgage to buy a home, but this scheme offers an interest free loan allowing people to take that first step on the property ladder.

Who is eligible for OMSE?

The LIFT Open Market Shared Equity Scheme is open to:

  • first-time buyers
  • social rented tenants
  • armed forces personnel
  • veterans who have left within the last two years
  • widows/widowers
  • partners of service personnel for up to two years after their partner has been killed while serving in the armed forces
  • disabled people

Samantha McLaughlin, who purchased her home through the LIFT scheme said, “I would like to thank Link for giving my family the opportunity to finally have a home after 10 years.”

How do you apply? 

First, speak to a financial advisor about securing a mortgage. Then apply online on their website

For more information, please call Link Housing’s OMSE team on 0330 303 0125 or email at

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