Frequently Asked Questions

What is Homes For Westminster?

It is a free service set up by Westminster Council to help those seeking intermediate housing (a type of affordable housing) in Westminster.  

The service will provide:

  • Assistance with completing the registration process
  • Email and telephone support
  • Details of the current properties available for rental or purchase, all of which are advertised on the website 
  • Information about home ownership and intermediate rental opportunities outside of Westminster that you may be eligible for through our website


What type of schemes does Homes For Westminster cover?

Shared Ownership
Also known as part-buy /part-rent schemes (including new build or resale properties), an applicant can start off buying as little as 25% of the value of the home, increasing the amount they own as they can afford to purchase more.

Discounted Market Sale (DMS)

There are various DMS models in the property market, the most common version of the product in Westminster, in terms of resale opportunities, is currently at Fermoy Road. At this development you purchase a home (a resale property) which is discounted by 20% on the full market value, when you sell the property the 20% discount is reapplied to the next purchaser.

Intermediate Rent (IMR)

Renting a property on a short-term basis at 20%-40% less than private market rents. Tenancy lengths and terms vary depending on the housing provider.

Westminster Home Ownership Accelerator Scheme (WHOAS)

A sub market rented scheme that enables eligible participants to build up housing equity whilst renting, prior to a move on in to home ownership.

For further details regarding this product please visit http://dolphinliving.com/accelerator/


Are low cost homeownership schemes only available to key workers, council tenants and Housing Association tenants?

No. The schemes are available to these groups, but also to first time buyers (and current home owners who will have sold their property prior to completing on an intermediate housing opportunity) who have an annual household income of less than £90,000.

Can people make an appointment to speak to a member of the Homes For Westminster team?

Yes. Please telephone 0800 783 4849 to make an appointment to speak to a member of the Homes For Westminster team.


What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is where you purchase a share of a property (the minimum purchase share is 25%) by raising a mortgage for the share price. Rent is paid on the remainder of the purchase price.

These schemes are operated by Housing Associations which usually offer newly built properties in developments. Re-sales of shared ownership properties also become available if the owner wishes to sell their share to a new purchaser.

Further shares can be purchased as and when the purchaser is able to afford it. This is known as stair-casing and can usually be done to a maximum share of 100%.

If you are a Housing Association tenant, you may be able to purchase a share in the home you currently rent. This type of shared ownership scheme is called Social Help to Buy.


Can I buy with someone else?

Yes, with affordable housing schemes you can purchase with someone else, provided that they are also a first time buyer and that your joint household income does not exceed £90,000.


How many forms do I need to fill out?

You only need to fill out one registration form. If you meet our eligibility criteria, we will use the information you provide to assess the type of schemes you can apply for. Please note you have an obligation to inform the service of any subsequent changes in your circumstances once you have registered with the service, to ensure your registration remains valid. When submitting your completed registration form please also email the paperwork requested on page 1 of the registration form, sending the paperwork as labelled email attachments along with the completed Homes For Westminster registration form.

You may need to fill out additional application forms depending on the housing provider you rent or buy your property through.


What type of properties can I buy?

The type of property you can buy depends on the scheme you apply for.

Shared Ownership properties tend to be flats in new build development blocks. They are mostly one or two bedroom flats, although occasionally three bedroom flats are available. 

Priority for any 2 or 3 bedroom properties is always to families with dependent children.