Low Cost Home Ownership in Merthyr Tydfil is delivered through the Merthyr Living scheme.
Merthyr Living is unique to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and is operated in partnership with Housing Associations, private House Builders and the Welsh
Government to provide Low Cost Home Ownership products to people who are in a financially stable position yet still unable to purchase a home outright without assistance.
We aim to assist as many people as possible. To be able to apply in the first instance you must:
- Be over 18 years of age
- Be a UK passport holder or have indefinite leave to remain in the United
- Be able to raise a mortgage with a suitable mortgage lender
- Have access to enough savings to cover the costs of buying a home, such as solicitors, mortgage arranging and survey fees.
We give top priority to people who are:
- Current tenants of a Housing Association in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough
- Registered on the Common Housing Register or any other waiting list held by a Housing Association in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough.
- We can also assist people who do not fall into either of these categories but can demonstrate a local connection to Merthyr Tydfil e.g. currently live or work here, previously lived here or have family that lives here.
Although Merthyr Living is targeted toward first time buyers we may still be able to help you providing you do not currently own a property. You will be considered if:
- You previously owned a home with a partner and the relationship has broken down
- You need to move to the area due to job relocation
How much do I have to earn?
Although there are no minimum income restrictions for Merthyr Living you will need to demonstrate to us that you can afford to purchase a home.
If you are interested in purchasing a property that is advertised through Merthyr Living you will be invited to an affordability interview where your financial circumstances will be assessed. You will not be able to proceed with the purchase until the financial assessment has been undertaken and a decision made on your application.
Is there a limit on my earning?
We will be unable to accept your application if your income or savings are high enough to purchase a similar home outright on the open market.
How are properties affordable?
There are various ways to purchase a home with us. Products will vary depending on the availability of funding.
Properties are available through two schemes:
Merthyr Living Shared Equity Scheme
Merthyr Living offers buyers the opportunity to buy part of a property. The remaining share of the property is retained by a housing association at no extra cost to the first-time buyer. This makes the property more affordable. The share of the property that you would need to purchase will vary between each development, but is usually 75%. Properties are often available through the scheme on new housing developments, but can also be individual older properties depending on available funding and how the properties have been secured for low cost home ownership.
As a homeowner you will be responsible for all the usual running costs of the property such as mortgage repayments, utility bills, repairs and general upkeep. You will need to be in a financially stable position to do this.
If you wish to sell the property in the future you will only be allowed to sell the share of the property that you own. This way the home will remain affordable to buyers in the future.
Merthyr Living Rent First Scheme
The Rent First scheme provides a mid-market housing solution for people on moderate incomes. The scheme aims to provide a housing solution to those that are in a financially stable position yet unable to purchase a house at the present time due to economic uncertainties. The scheme could also assist in providing assistance towards a deposit if or when the tenant decides to purchase the property as any increase in equity at the time of sale will be split 50/50 between the Housing Association and the tenant. The house must increase in value for there to be a share of any equity, and there is no guarantee that it will.
Under the Rent First scheme, rent will be charged at a lower amount than the market rent for an equivalent property. The tenant will be able to purchase the property after a period of three years, providing that they have a satisfactory rent account for at least twelve months.
The purchase price will then be the greater of the minimum purchase price (as set out in the Purchase Option Agreement which is signed on commencement of the tenancy), or the value that is determined by an independent market valuation undertaken by a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors qualified valuation surveyor, which will be paid for by the tenant. The tenant is however under no obligation to purchase the property.
What should you do next?
Fill out the Merthyr Living application form in full and return it to us as soon as possible. When completing your application it is important to provide as much information as possible so we can process your application quickly and correctly.
If you need assistance with completing the application form please do not hesitate to contact us. Our staff are here to help and aim to provide you with a friendly and professional service.
If you are eligible to join the scheme, you will be accepted onto the Merthyr Living register and notified accordingly. Once you are on the Merthyr Living register you will be notified of any new properties that may become available and you will be asked to express your interest in them. You will then be prioritised according to the Merthyr Living criteria and may be asked to attend an affordability interview. If you are approved at this stage, you will then be able to purchase a property.