Affordable Housing

Step On is an incentive scheme for social housing tenants who are looking to buy a shared ownership property.

Step On Scheme

Step On is an incentive scheme from South Hams District Council for social housing tenants who are looking to buy a shared ownership property.

There is a shortage of affordable housing in the South Hams. As part of our Housing Crisis declaration and our Better Homes, Better Lives Strategy, the Council is keen to help people who want to buy a shared ownership home.

This will help free up social housing for other people who are waiting for it.

Social Housing Tenants can claim a one-off payment of £5,000 towards the deposit on a shared ownership property.

Am I Eligible for the Scheme?

Applicants for the scheme need to meet the following conditions:

  • An existing Housing Association tenant on an assured tenancy.
  • Resident in the South Hams District area for the last 3 years.
  • Not in any rent arrears or be in breach of any term of their current tenancy agreement at the time of application.
  • A tenant where the Housing Association landlord confirms that the nomination rights for the property being vacated will be given to South Hams District Council.
  • Registered on a Housing Association waiting list or Devon Home Choice. Read the guidance on who can apply for Shared Ownership on GOV.UK.
  • In employment and earn at least £15,000 per year. (If applicants earn less than £15,000 a year it is unlikely that they will have sufficient income to buy a property through low cost home ownership schemes. If they have extra financial resources such as an inheritance or redundancy pay out it will be expected that they use these funds rather than the Step On scheme. However, in exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to apply to the Step On Scheme).
  • Not in receipt of a household income which exceeds £80,000 a year.
  • Over 18 years of age to be eligible for any shared ownership schemes. They cannot be included on the Register if they are under this age.
  • Able to evidence of a mortgage in principle agreement must be received.
  • Able to provide supporting financial information to the Council for a decision to be determined. This will include evidence of savings, bank statements, income details and other such financial records.
  • Able to evidence that they can afford the initial costs associated with buying a property.  This will be on top of any deposit that a mortgage lender may require and includes expenses such as:
    • solicitor's fees,
    • land registry fee,
    • survey
    • valuation costs,
    • stamp duty 
    • local authority search fee

How does it work?

If you are eligible, the scheme will provide a maximum of £5,000 for use as a deposit on a shared ownership home. For example, a 3-bedroom home in Sherford with a 30% share of a £260,000 property requires a deposit of £3,900.

If your application is accepted, funds will be held for up to 3 months so that you can proceed with your property purchases. The Council will provide evidence of the award to the mortgage lender, shared ownership agent and the registered provider.

Are there any exclusions?

This grant cannot be used to assist tenants exercise their right to buy or right to acquire rights as secure or assured tenants.

If the applicant has savings, it is expected that these will be used to purchase the initial share. The Council will look to award the Step On grant if the evidenced savings are not enough to provide the minimum deposit on the minimum share up to that amount.

How do I apply?

Please use the button below to apply for the scheme. You will be able to upload supporting documents as part of the application, so make sure you have them to hand.

Apply for a Step On Grant

If you have any questions, or need more information, please email Affordable Housing.