Delivered in partnership with Catalyst Housing
Your guide to the Vale of White Horse District Council
Open Market Equity Loan Scheme Making homeownership more affordable
Making your aspiration of homeownership a reality
Your Home, Your Choice
For eligible people living or working in the
Vale of White Horse District Council area
What is the Vale of White Horse District Council
Open Market Equity Loan Scheme?
The Vale of White Horse District Council selected property must not be tied to another
‘Open Market’ Equity Loan Scheme is an government backed affordable homeownership
initiative that gives aspiring homeowners, scheme e.g. part-buy/part-rent.
currently priced out of the housing market,
a route to purchasing a home of their own. Catalyst Housing
This scheme is delivered by Catalyst Housing and Catalyst Housing is a ‘not-for-profit’ housing
is funded through a partnership with the Vale of association. We deliver a comprehensive range of
White Horse District Council. affordable homeownership schemes and initiatives
across London and the South East of England.
Boosting your affordability
Equity loan schemes traditionally offer low-interest Additionally, Catalyst is the government appointed
loans that boost your affordability by topping up HomeBuy agent for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire
your maximum mortgage capability. Thus equity (including Milton Keynes), Oxfordshire and Surrey,
loan schemes allow you to purchase a property where we deliver a registration-based ‘one-stop-
that you would normally be unable to afford. shop’ solution for people looking to get on to the
property ladder but are unable to progress due to
Your Home, Your Choice their current circumstances and limitations of the
Open Market means that you can buy a property financial sector.
of your own choice i.e. via an estate agent,
property website etc. Catalyst also has extensive experience of working
with local authorities and public sector employers
As a result, unlike some similar schemes, you are in delivering bespoke affordable solutions.
not restricted to choosing a property within a
specified new build development. However, any
Who is eligible?
Social tenants Changing Circumstances
Existing Vale of White Horse District Council or Those experiencing a major change in
housing association tenants, where the existing circumstances, for example, disability or a
property will be offered to the local authority for prolonged illness, an increase in family size or
nomination. divorce / separation.
Living in the District Additional Considerations
Aspiring homeowners who live in the Vale of White
Horse District Council area but cannot afford to
buy a home on the open market to meet their • Total household income must not exceed
current requirements. £60,000 per annum.
Employed in the District • You must have sufficient savings to cover
Those who are employed in the district, but do not purchasing costs (approx. £3,500) and are
necessarily live in the area. likely to need a 5% deposit (current mortgage
lending criteria will apply).
Those currently working in a designated key • You must be unable to purchase a property
worker role as defined by the Vale of White Horse suitable for your needs without assistance.
District Council. These roles include a number of • You must be eligible to be accepted on the Vale
relevant positions within a variety of public service of White Horse Housing Register.
• Your name must not be on the deeds of another
property whether in the UK or abroad.
How much support can I get?
Depending on your household income and • In order to obtain a mortgage, purchasers
circumstances you could receive a loan of between will likely need to be able to raise a deposit
15% and 50% of the value of a property. of at least 5% of the property share they
The maximum loan available is £50,000 are proposing to purchase. Please note,
(dependent on your individual assessment). lending policy from financial institutions
is subject to change.
• Before applicants are allowed to proceed,
Property Price £180,000 a satisfactory affordability assessment must
Loan £50,000 be obtained from the approved scheme
Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) to
Mortgage £117,000* determine your eligibility for the scheme.
Monthly Mortgage Payment £657.56* * Note: Mortgage rates may vary, please
check with the approved scheme IFA. The
Monthly Interest Payment £104.17
mortgage figures are for illustrative purposes only.
Total Costs (Monthly) £761.73 Deposit requirements may vary.
Is there a charge for the equity loan?
The equity loan is subject to a 1.75% interest only charge. The amount charged will increase
annually by an amount equivalent to the Retail Price Index* (RPI) plus an additional 0.5%.
This increase is illustrated as below:
Property Value £180,000.00
Equity Loan £50,000.00
Yr 1 Interest Charge £875.00
Monthly payments £72.92
Yr 1 Interest Charge £875.00
Assumed RPI (3%) £26.25
plus 0.5% £4.36
Yr 2 Interest Charge £905.61
Monthly Payment £75.47
Increase pcm £2.55
Total increase for the year £30.60
Yr 2 Interest Charge £905.61
Assumed RPI (3%) £27.17
plus 0.5% £4.53
Yr 3 Interest Charge £937.31
Monthly Payment £78.11
Increase pcm £2.64
Total increase for year £31.68
*RPI may vary and increase figures are subject to rounding
Note: You are requested to ensure that you DO NOT make any financial commitments until your
identified property purchase has been fully approved by both Catalyst Housing and Vale of White Horse
District Council. It is important to remember that a firm offer of funding will only be made when a
satisfactory financial affordability assessment has been conducted by a qualified Independent Financial
Advisor (IFA), appropriate references have been received and a property has been approved for purchase.
Applications will be processed on a first come/first serve basis as there is limited support.
Terms & Conditions apply and are subject to change.
How does the scheme work?
Step 1 Register with Catalyst Housing by Step 6 Catalyst Housing assess
completing the required application forms. the proposed property.
In doing so, you will also go on the Vale
of White Horse District Council Housing Catalyst Housing’s Equity Loans Team will then
Register. assess the suitability of the proposed property and
obtain any final approvals, for example from Vale
of White Horse District Council and your employer
Step 2 Receive written notification from
Catalyst Housing of support available.
Step 7 Green light to proceed,
Once you have formally submitted your instruct solicitors, survey and submit
application forms, Catalyst Housing will contact mortgage application.
you within eight working days outlining the
range of support that you could be eligible for.
You will then be given conditional consent to
Note: If you are not eligible for the scheme
purchase the property using assistance from
you may still be able to benefit from the other
the Vale of White Horse District Council Open
affordable home ownership options available.
Market Equity Loan Scheme. At this point you
For more information, visit: should contact your IFA to submit a full mortgage
www.catalysthomebuy.co.uk application. Should you wish, we can provide a
list of solicitors that you may want to choose
from to represent you in the purchase.
Step 3 Speak to an Independent
Financial Advisor. Step 8 Catalyst Housing set an exchange
You are then required to speak to an Independent date deadline.
Financial Advisor appointed for this scheme to
obtain a provisional mortgage calculation. Your IFA The remainder of the property purchase will
will provide Catalyst Housing with your financial proceed in the normal way. Your solicitor will
assessment once you have found a property. conduct all the relevant searches required.
He/she will also seek confirmation with your
Step 4 Start looking for your desired home. mortgage provider and the Catalyst Housing’s
Equity Loans team that all the relevant funds
At this stage there is no obligation for you to have been approved.
proceed. You will be given a Property Information
In co-ordination with your IFA and solicitor they
Form (PIF) by Catalyst Housing. With this in hand,
will need to send us a copy of your mortgage offer
you will be able to start looking for your desired
and a Homebuyers’ survey for approval before
home through all the normal routes; i.e. estate
exchange can be authorised.
agents, press advertisements and the Internet.
Once Catalyst Housing has provided your solicitor
with formal authority to exchange, the exchange
Step 5 Property found? can take place. Completion will be at least 10
Once you have found your property, submit working days after exchange and is conditional on
your Property Information Form (PIF) to the your direct debit mandate being received, as well as
Financial Advisor. This will then be given to signing the Equity Loan Agreement.
Catalyst Housing along with the relevant financial
assessments and documents. Additionally, a copy
Step 9 Enjoy your new home!
of the property particulars should be provided
by the selling estate agent.
What type of property can I buy
through the scheme?
Property Eligibility 6. A new property must have a National House
Building Council (NHBC) guarantee or a
The home selected for purchase must meet the similar warranty, agreed by Catalyst Housing,
following criteria: by a reputable insurance company.
1. The size of the home must be suitable for the 7. Open market leasehold properties must
applicant’s current housing needs and can be provide a leasehold interest of more than
one bedroom in excess of your current need. 70 years remaining as well as meet the Eligible
Applicant’s Lending Institution’s requirements.
2. The home selected must be located in the
Vale of White Horse District Council area. 8. The Eligible Applicant’s Lending Institution
places no retention, or a retention of up to
3. The home selected has a wholly residential £5,000 on the mortgage offer.
use. A home where the planning use is part
commercial is not eligible. 9. The following types of property can be
purchased, subject to the ADDITIONAL
4. The home selected must be bought with conditions outlined below:
vacant possession and
9.1. a home the applicant is currently renting from
(a) be immediately habitable OR a private landlord, provided it is self-contained
(b) be a new home under construction, AND the landlord is not resident.
provided the purchase price is fixed AND is 9.2. a property owned or part-owned by a
available freehold or have a lease length family member (excluding spouse/partner)
of at least 99 years as well as meeting the or business associate, provided that an
lender’s requirements AND independent valuation is obtained from a
(c) not benefit from other public subsidy AND Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
(RICS) agreed by Catalyst Housing.
(d) any property selected must be able to
exchange and complete this financial year. 9.3. an estranged spouse or partner’s share in
a formerly shared home can be bought out
5. The home is acceptable to Catalyst Housing
following a relationship breakdown where the
and for mortgage lending purposes; it
disposal is required/supported by:
has good and marketable title, and is in a
reasonable state of repair as evidenced by a (a) court order
Homebuyer’s Survey and Valuation (HSV) or (b) legal settlement after a court order
equivalent. (a building survey is not required).
A HSV is required for all properties other than (c) order sanctioned by a court
new properties that have not been previously (e.g. a consent order)
occupied; the Applicant is responsible for the (d) formal written ‘separation agreement’
cost of the survey. signed by both parties, such an agreement
can be legally enforced or varied by
reference to a court.
Subject to change
(e) a ‘second’ property can be purchased Excluded Property
even though the applicant has an
on-going interest in a ‘marital home’ The following types of property cannot
but only in circumstances where the be purchased:
property cannot be sold, because the
estranged spouse/partner is allowed 1. A commercial property.
by the court to remain there whilst 2. A home on sale at auction.
bringing up dependent children;
3. A mobile home (including fixed homes
AND provided that an independent covered by the Mobile Homes Act 1983)
valuation (based on market value with a caravan and a houseboat.
vacant possession) is obtained from a
4. A home offered at a discount or on shared
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
ownership terms by a housing association
(RICS) agreed by Catalyst Housing.
or local authority or other public body.
9.4. Catalyst Housing may reject a home it This includes properties sold with a discount
considers is in poor condition, based on the funded through a Section 106 Agreement,
information provided in the HSV. Where the except where the property has been privately
vendor has agreed to carry out works before funded and no other public subsidy has been
completion, Catalyst Housing may approve the used or the parties agree otherwise
home on condition that the applicant provides
5. A plot of land on which to build.
evidence that the works have been completed
to a satisfactory standard, and are acceptable 6. A home which is to be built by the applicant
to the applicant’s conventional mortgage or a self build group.
lender. 7. A property occupied by sitting tenants.
What are my responsibilities once I have
purchased my property?
Your responsibilities include the following: decoration to communal areas for which you
will pay a service charge.
The legal charge
If you own a maisonette, you will usually have
an obligation to maintain the exterior together
You will sign a legal charge that will record that with other occupiers and there may be no
you have bought your home with the help of an service charge.
equity loan. The legal charge sets out certain
responsibilities including: Alterations and improvements
• Keeping your home in good condition.
You must notify Catalyst Housing and obtain
• Informing us and getting our written consent for
approval for any alterations or improvements
any improvements or alterations you make.
you intend to make to the property, for example,
• Not subletting your home to anyone else. building an extension or altering the layout.
• Keeping your home insured. Any improvements you make to your home which
• Paying any service charges required of you. potentially increases its value will be recorded and
taken into account when you sell your property.
• Repaying the loan if you leave your qualifying
profession (where relevant). If you need to take out further loans, for repair or
improvement, which need to be secured on the
Repairs and maintenance property, you must obtain consent from Catalyst
Housing. You will not be permitted to obtain a
You will be responsible for all the repairs and further advance for debt consolidation.
maintenance on your home, as any home owner
is. If you own a flat you will be responsible for
maintaining the interior. The freeholder will
usually take care of external repairs and It is your responsibility to ensure that the
property is insured and to send the details
to Catalyst Housing.
Selling the property or repaying the loan
We are required to provide this information by law. How to sell or repay the loan?
The loan provided by Catalyst Housing is available
to people who meet the proposed eligibility
1. If you wish to sell your home or repay the
loan at any time, you must contact Catalyst
This loan must be secured by a mortgage over the Housing.
home you buy.
2. If you sell the property, you will be required to
Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repay your loan once your mortgage has been
repayments on a mortgage or other loans redeemed (to a maximum of 25 years).
secured on it.
3. You will then arrange for an independent
The amount you will have to repay when the loan valuation to be carried out by a RICS approved
comes to an end is linked to the value of your surveyor, so that the value can be agreed and
home at the time you sell it. You may have to the loans repaid in full. You will be responsible
repay less than you borrowed, but it is likely that for the cost of the valuation.
you will have to repay more.
4. You will repay the relevant percentage (your
If you have to repay more than you borrowed, the initial loan percentage) of the agreed market
effect will be similar to a loan under which you pay value of your home at the time of repayment.
credit charges at the rate by which your home has
5. Under the terms of the loan, there is an
increased in value.
interest charge of 1.75% (APR) payable on the
loan annually. This charge will increase by an
Example: amount equivalent to the Retail Price Index
Assume you buy a home in the Vale of White plus 0.5% on an annual basis.
Horse District Council area for £180,000 and
Catalyst Housing provides you with £45,000
(25% of the purchase price).
In five years’ time you want to sell your home
and house values have risen. Assume house
prices have increased by about 10% a year, so
that your home would be worth £198,000.
In this example you would repay 25% of
the value when you sell the home, which is
Below are a list of additional fees that may be implemented in relation to the Vale of White Horse
District Council Equity Loan Scheme, after purchasing the property*.
Late monthly payment - £8
If you fail to pay the monthly payment on time. You will
also be responsible for any associated legal fees.
Redemption of loan - £200
If you or your beneficiary repays the equity loan in full.
Approving a mortgage - £80
If you wish to change to another mortgage lender or
obtain a further advance through your existing lender, Catalyst
Housing’s consent is required.
Registration of improvements - £35
If you wish to make an alteration to the property.
Not all works will be accepted as an improvement, so
please check with Catalyst Housing first.
Transfers of equity - £50
If you wish to add or remove a name from the loan,
Catalyst Housing’s consent is required.
Copies of documents - from £10
If you ask Catalyst Housing to supply a copy of a document.
Deed of substitution/ Security - £50
If you require an extension of any lease.
*Prices are correct at time of print. Catalyst Housing reserves the right to
review these figures.
Interested? Got some questions?
Contact Catalyst Housing on:
0845 601 7729
Catalyst Housing Ltd
26-30 Uxbridge Road
London W5 2AU
Tel: 0845 601 7729
Fax: 020 8832 3344
A charitable housing association, IPS no.16561R