Opportunities for people wishing to buy their first home improved last week after a series of amendments to the Shared Equity Purchase Assistance (SEPA) schemes were approved by Tynwald.
The amendments will come into effect from 2 August 2022, and include:
- Increasing the annual amount people can earn to be eligible for the schemes
- Removing property price limits for the First Home Choice Scheme, allowing eligible applicants to apply for assistance towards a property on the open market
- Improving the interest and repayment terms for the Shared Equity Loan
In addition to the approved changes, the Housing team also recently updated its policy regarding how it considers applications from second-time buyers. Former property owners can now apply to the schemes, while demonstrating that they need assistance to purchase a suitable property for their household.
Infrastructure Minister Chris Thomas MHK also chairs the Housing and Communities Board. He said:
‘The changes will improve matters for first-time buyers in the Island, particularly the removal of price limitations on the open market, which will help anyone who may have struggled in recent years to find a suitable property for which they might apply for financial assistance.
‘This is the first step to improve provision for first-time buyers. The review will continue with more public engagement later in the year to look at further reform.
‘I’m also pleased new criteria are now in place to assist second-time buyers, and hope to hear of some positive results as the policy changes start to take effect.’
Details of the amendments made to the schemes, and details on how to apply, can be found by visiting gov.im/firsttimebuyers or by contacting the Housing team on +44 1624 685955.