Government extends home ownership scheme to cover Armed Forces

Soldiers and other members of the Armed Forces are to be given a helping hand to get on the property ladder.

Housing minister Yvette Cooper announced that serving forces personnel and their families currently living in military housing will be eligible to apply for a shared-equity loan to help them buy a house.

Under an extension of the government’s low-cost home ownership programme, service personnel who qualify could boost their buying power by up to 32.5%. Currently, a family on a combined income of £40,000 could typically obtain a mortgage of just £160,000 independently. If eligible for shared equity support, they could potentially buy a home valued at about £210,000.

Cooper said: “This new support recognises the vital contribution our Armed Forces make to our communities. We want to help more key workers, like service personnel, get a foot on the housing ladder.”

The government is also using the Housing and Regeneration Bill to ensure that service personnel are treated fairly when applying to councils for social housing or homelessness assistance.

Under existing legislation, members of the Armed Forces don’t have a ‘local connection’ with the district where they are serving or living. This can put them at a disadvantage as they may get less priority for social housing.

Ministers are now amending the law to put Armed Forces personnel on an equal footing with civilians.

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