Buying a house can be difficult, particularly if it’s your first time getting on the property ladder.

The government therefore offers a variety of different schemes, which are focused on helping people buy a property. 

Many people however are unaware of these schemes and the benefits they can bring. So, in this blog we will outline what the different schemes are and how they might be useful to you.

What are government buying schemes?

These schemes were created by the government to help people get on the property ladder. In total, there are 4 main types known as Lifetime ISAs, Help to Buy, Right to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes.

With house prices rising, these initiatives have never been more popular, particularly for first time buyers. Without them, many people may have been unable to get on the property ladder at all.

So, let’s break it down and look into each of the different types.

Lifetime ISAs

keys government buying schemes

A Lifetime ISA focuses on helping people save up for a deposit to put down on a property. With these accounts, the government will give you a bonus on top of what you save, and so opening an account can increase the total amount of savings you have.

In total you can deposit up to £4,000 into your ISA every tax year. The government will then pay a 25% bonus on top of these savings. So, if you were to save £4,000 you would receive an extra £1,000 to go towards your deposit.

The amount the government gives you greatly depends on the amount you save. Therefore, the more you save, the bigger the bonus. However, the bonus is capped at £1,000 per tax year and your savings are also restricted to just £4,000. Despite this, getting one of these accounts can really help to boost your savings and get you closer to landing your dream home.

Help to Buy

Help to buy ISAs have officially closed to new applicants, however if you have an existing account you can still use them. These accounts are very similar to Lifetime ISAs, where you save up money and the government gives you a 25% bonus on top.

However, with a Help to Buy ISA your savings are capped at just £200 a month. For every £200 you save the government will give you £50 on top.

These ISAs are an effective way of saving money, however you may get a larger government bonus using a Lifetime ISA as you can deposit more savings into those accounts each year.

Right to Buy

Another UK government buying scheme is the Right to Buy initiative. This scheme differs from the last two, as it focuses on helping tenants who are living in council houses.

With this scheme, the government gives tenants a discount on the price of the house they are currently living in. The size of the discount depends on a number of things including the length of time you have lived there and the type of property it is.

Unlike the Help to Buy and Lifetime ISAs, this scheme has stricter qualifying criteria and therefore not everybody can benefit from this homeownership initiative. However, if you are a tenant living in a council property then you may be eligible.

Shared Ownership

The final initiative available to people is called Shared Ownership. This is where you can purchase a certain percentage of a property, rather than the whole house. A landlord will own the remaining percentage of the house and you will be required to pay rent to them, in addition to your mortgage payments.

Using this initiative can reduce the amount you need to pay in a deposit, as you only need to cover the cost of the share you are buying. Saving up for a deposit can be really hard and in some cases almost impossible, therefore this scheme can be extremely helpful to certain people.

There are ways where you can purchase the whole property over time, by increasing the amount of shares you own. This is called staircasing. Therefore, you can eventually own the entire property to yourself and so it can be a really useful way to get on the property ladder.

Which scheme is right for you?

Determining the scheme that you should get massively depends on your own situation.

Generally, if you’re interested in saving for a deposit then using a Help to Buy or Lifetime ISA could be a good fit for you. However, if you’re at the stage where you want a purchase a property sooner rather than later, then considering the Right to Buy or Shared Ownership schemes may be more worthwhile.

If you’re in a position where you are already a part of one of these schemes and are looking for a mortgage, then speaking with a specialist mortgage provider could be the right route to take.


To sum up, there are lots of different governmental methods you can use to help you buy a home. These range from helping you to save for a deposit and giving you access to a property at a discounted price. The schemes that are right for you greatly depend on your own personal circumstances and so it is worth considering each option carefully before you make a final decision.