Affordable Housing Schemes in London: A Closer Look

Explore the various affordable housing schemes available in London and gain a closer look at their eligibility criteria, benefits, and impact on the housing market. Discover how these schemes help address the affordability gap and provide housing opportunities for individuals and families in the vibrant capital.

Tara Helm
2:11 PM, Jun 13, 2023

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Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

Affordable housing remains a pressing issue in London, where the cost of living often outpaces income growth. To address this challenge, various affordable housing schemes have been implemented in the capital. In this article, we take a closer look at the different affordable housing schemes available in London, examining their eligibility criteria, benefits, and impact on the housing market. Join us as we explore these schemes and their contribution to bridging the affordability gap and providing housing opportunities for individuals and families in the vibrant capital.

Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership is a popular affordable housing scheme in London that enables individuals to purchase a share of a property and pay rent on the remaining portion. This scheme allows buyers to enter the property market with a lower deposit and mortgage, making homeownership more accessible. Shared Ownership properties are typically managed by housing associations, and buyers have the option to increase their ownership share over time.

Help to Buy

The Help to Buy scheme provides assistance to first-time buyers in purchasing a new-build property. Under this scheme, buyers contribute a deposit of at least 5% of the property price, and the government provides an equity loan of up to 20% (40% in London). This loan reduces the amount of the mortgage required, making homeownership more affordable. The scheme has specific criteria and price caps, and it aims to support individuals in stepping onto the property ladder.

London Living Rent

The London Living Rent scheme offers affordable rental opportunities for households with moderate incomes. Rent levels are set at one-third of the average local household income, providing a more affordable housing option for those who do not qualify for social housing but struggle with market rents. The scheme aims to bridge the gap between social housing and private renting, ensuring that individuals and families have access to stable and affordable homes.

Affordable Rent

Affordable Rent properties are managed by housing associations and are offered at rents below the market rate. These properties provide affordable options for those on lower incomes. Rent levels are typically set at around 80% of the local market rent, making them more accessible to individuals and families facing housing affordability challenges. Affordable Rent properties are allocated based on local housing needs and criteria set by housing providers.

Impact on the Housing Market

Affordable housing schemes have a significant impact on the housing market in London. They contribute to increasing the supply of affordable homes, helping to address the affordability gap and cater to the housing needs of individuals and families with lower incomes. These schemes promote social inclusion, support sustainable communities, and mitigate the challenges faced by those struggling with high housing costs. Additionally, affordable housing schemes contribute to the overall stability of the housing market by offering a range of affordable options for residents.


Affordable housing schemes play a crucial role in addressing the affordability gap in London's housing market. Shared Ownership, Help to Buy, London Living Rent, and Affordable Rent are just a few of the schemes available, each offering unique benefits and opportunities. By providing accessible paths to homeownership and affordable rental options, these schemes contribute to creating a more inclusive and equitable city. Through continued support and expansion of affordable housing initiatives, London can strive towards a future where affordable homes are available to all residents, regardless of their income level. ``

Tara Helm

Tara Helm is a passionate advocate for social change and the driving force behind London for Bernie. Born and raised in London, Tara has always been deeply connected to the city and its diverse communities. She graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in Social Policy, providing her with a deep understanding of the social issues that Londoners face.

When she's not advocating for social change, Tara enjoys exploring London's parks with her rescue dog, Bernie, the blog's namesake. She is also an avid reader and enjoys cooking and hosting community potlucks.

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