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Grants for council tenants to buy a house

If you are a tenant of a council home, we can give you a cash grant of £25,000–£44,000 to help you buy a new home.

Who can get a grant

You can get a grant if you:

  • are a secure tenant of a council property
  • have one or more bedrooms in your current home (no bedsits or studio flats)
  • don’t own any other property (this applies to anyone else buying the property with you)
  • are a first time buyer (this applies to anyone else buying the property with you).

If you are eligible, you must:

  • return the property to us in good condition when you get the grant
  • give us a mortgage in principle certificate.

How much money you can get

The size of the grant depends on:

  • where you want to move
  • the type of council property you are giving up.

When you will get the money

The grant is paid when the sale is completed so cannot be used as a deposit.

How to apply

Download and complete the application form below. Email it to initiatives@lewisham.gov.uk along with your mortgage in principle certificate. 

Frequently asked questions

What property can I buy with the grant?

You can buy a property on the open market anywhere in the UK except the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The property should be within your mortgage limit. The maximum value of the property you can buy may change every year, so check before you make an offer.

You cannot buy into an existing mortgage and you cannot use the grant to buy a:

Do I have to repay the grant?

No. The grant is not repayable and there is no charge against the property purchased.

If I find a property to purchase, am I entitled to a grant?

Your grant application must be approved before you make an offer on a property.

Can I apply if I am in a housing decant programme?

Yes. You may be eligible for the grant and will get priority. The grant you get will be based on the size of property you are registered for, not the size of the property you live in.

When will the grant be paid?

We will give your solicitors the money by the date that you exchange contracts on the property you are buying.

Your solicitor cannot release the money until the day you complete the purchase of your new home. Before we give you the money you must:

  • leave your council home in a good condition
  • vacate your council home and remove all your personal possessions
  • not owe us any rent, or other amounts such as overpaid housing benefit from previous tenancies. 

You can also contact us and ask us to send you the form in the post.

If your application is successful, we will contact you within two weeks with further details about the scheme.

Get in touch

Assessment and Initiatives

Fifth Floor, Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, London, SE6 4RU