First Homes Cardiff
  1. First Homes Cardiff is an equity share purchase opportunity, administered by Cardiff Council.
  2. The scheme is only available for first time buyers, living or working in Cardiff for at least the last six months. If you are leaving the Armed Forces you would be eligible for the scheme if you lived in Cardiff for at least six months prior to joining the forces. It is NOT available if you presently have a financial interest in a property (i.e. your name is on the deeds, or mortgage) or are benefiting from any other home ownership scheme. Consideration may be given to first time buyers in their own right i.e. those now divorced etc.
  3. The scheme will make available a number of new, high quality, affordable homes for purchase on a range of development sites across the city. Some of these properties will be built by open market private developers and some will be built as part of the Council’s own new build housing programme, which includes ‘Cardiff Living’, a partnership development programme between Cardiff Council and Wates Residential. In addition, there will be resale properties that become available when current owners look to move on.
  4. First Homes Cardiff shared equity scheme is available to households who cannot meet the cost of purchase of a suitable property on the open market, but who can raise a mortgage to purchase typically 70% of the market value of these properties. The percentage available to purchase maybe lower on some homes.
  5. Only specific plots on developments or resale properties included in the First Homes Cardiff Scheme will be available for purchase through the scheme.
  6. To be considered for a property, applicants must submit a fully completed application form plus supporting evidence. As the number of properties advertised through the scheme are limited, nominations are offered in the order of applications received (but only following receipt of a fully completed application form and ALL required evidence, including a valid Mortgage in Principle Certificate and at least a 5% deposit of the discounted purchase price).
  7. Applicants can express a preference for a property type and/or plot on new development sites. However, property size and occupancy levels will be taken into consideration when assessing nominations for the scheme. Applications that would result in overcrowding cannot be considered.
  8. Your application is site or property specific (if a resale property) and will only be considered for the stated development site or resale. Should you wish to be considered for other development sites or properties that become available under the First Homes Cardiff Scheme in the future, you will need to complete a separate application form.
  9. The Council will only accept an application when it has been fully completed, signed and submitted with all the relevant information. A 3rd Party consent form must also be completed and signed – this is so we can send information relevant to your purchase to valuation surveyors, private developers and Registered Social Landlords/Housing Associations (where applicable). Applicants must submit their completed application electronically via email or uploaded via our website. Please note, application forms MUST be signed, scanned and in PDF format – we cannot accept MICROSOFT WORD versions or electronic signatures.
  10. All application forms and supporting evidence must be returned to firsthomescardiff@cardiff.gov.uk
    If you are applying for a property where a Housing Association holds the equity share, you will be made aware of this and the Housing Association will manage your application and purchase.
  11. Once submitted, you will be sent an email confirming receipt of your application.
  12. If your application is ineligible or incomplete, you will be contacted with a list of outstanding evidence/information required. Your application cannot be processed until all outstanding evidence has been received.
  13. Please note acceptance of your application does not mean that your application will be successful and receive priority nomination.
  14. The Council will require you to submit a valid Mortgage in Principle certificate, or equivalent, with your application.
  15. Applicants must ensure that all sources of income, capital, savings and investments are disclosed on the application, regardless of the amount involved as proof that the necessary deposit is available.
  16. Failure to disclose any information, which later becomes known to Cardiff Council, will result in your application being cancelled.
  17. Where applicants choose to appoint a financial advisor to assist them in their application and/or purchase, the Council will seek any clarification required directly from the proposed mortgagee or applicant. The financial advisor will be considered a third party.
  18. If your application is successful, your details, together with your completed 3rd Party Consent Form will be forwarded to the housing developer and the council legal department, who will commence the sale process. In the case of a resale property, your details will be forwarded to the council legal department.
  19. Successful applicants will be required to provide a formal Mortgage Offer from a reputable bank, which clearly states the property is being purchased under a shared equity scheme.
  20. All successful applicants will be set a time limit for completion of their purchase by the Council and/or the housing developer, or the Housing Association, if applicable. If you have not completed by the given date, Cardiff Council may withdraw the offer of nomination, and re-nominate to another applicant.
  21. The Council cannot accept any responsibility for financial loss or inconvenience if a purchaser fails to complete a sale for whatever reason. Furthermore, Cardiff Council cannot predict or be responsible for changes to the full value of properties included in the scheme.
  22. On sale completion, new owners will own 100% of the registered title for the property, therefore rent is not payable on the remaining equity share. It is a requirement of the scheme that the successful applicant must use the house as his/her only or principal home. For clarification, the property cannot be rented out.
  23. A successful applicant / buyer under the scheme is entitled to ‘buy-out’ the Council’s retained equity share after a qualifying period of 3 years (excluding Cardiff Living & Council New Build properties – please see points 25 & 26 below). This can only be purchased in one ‘lump’ sum and will be based on the open market value of the property at the time of the request, provided the equity purchase is completed within 6 months of the valuation date. If the equity purchase transaction is not completed within the 6 month period of the date of the valuation, the Council reserves the right to review the valuation. As part of establishing the open market valuation, owner contact details as well as information relating to the property will be forwarded to an appointed RICS qualified Valuer, so that appropriate access arrangements to the property can be made for survey purposes. The ability to ‘buy-out’ the retained equity may also be available on some Housing Association properties where they retain the equity share (please see points 34 & 35 below).
  24. Any successful buyer (owner) who wishes to sell their property at any point after their original purchase, will be obliged to offer their property for sale through the First Homes Cardiff Scheme as a RESALE. If a suitable purchaser is not found during the resale process, the owner will be free to sell the property on the open market (see points 25 and 26 for Cardiff Living Properties exemption).
  25. Any successful buyer (owner) of a Cardiff Living or a Council New Build property will NOT be entitled to ‘buy-out’ the Council’s retained equity share of 30%. (Cardiff Living and Council new build properties only)
  26. Any successful buyer (owner) who wishes to sell their property at any point after their original purchase, will be obliged to offer their property for sale through the First Homes Cardiff Scheme as a RESALE.  If a suitable purchaser is not found during the resale process, Cardiff Council will purchase the property in question from the owner.  In the event that an owner defaults on their mortgage, Cardiff Council will also purchase the property. (Cardiff Living and Council new build properties only)
  27. Cardiff Council or the relevant Housing Association is required to protect its percentage interest in the ‘retained balance’ of the value of the property by means of a second mortgage (known as a second charge) (*this is usually 30% but on a small number of properties this may differ). This means that the percentage share of the property is ‘charged’ by the buyer to the Council or relevant Housing Association, this means the buyer is under an obligation to pay the Council or Housing Association’s percentage share of the current market value on resale
  28. The sum charged will only be payable if and when: a) the buyer wishes to re-sell the property, or b) there is a breach of any of the terms of the Council’s second mortgage document, or c) Cardiff Council approves a request to purchase its percentage share of the full market value (subject to the qualifying period of 3 years).
  29. Cardiff Council’s or the relevant Housing Association’s mortgage rights will be postponed to the buyer’s Bank/Building Society mortgage, and will not, therefore, affect mortgage-ability.
  30. It is the applicant’s responsibility to clarify, and consider, the possible costs associated with the purchase of a property i.e. Land Transaction Tax (LTT), Council Tax, legal costs etc. (*LTT is payable on the full market value or 100% of the property).
  31. If your application is successful, but your income and/or other details change before completion of the purchase, you must notify Cardiff Council immediately via email to firsthomescardiff@cardiff.gov.uk Failure to disclose any information, which later becomes known to Cardiff Council, may result in your application being cancelled.
  32. Cardiff Council reserves the right to make amendments to the rules and criteria of the First Homes Cardiff Scheme in light of experience. Decisions made by Cardiff Council throughout the course of your application will be final.
  33. The information you provide when making an application is strictly confidential and will only be used by Cardiff Council to assess your eligibility for the First Homes Cardiff Scheme.
  34. If you are applying for a property where a Housing Association holds the equity share, you will be made aware of this. The Housing Association will manage your application and purchase (if successfully nominated). (Housing association properties only)
  35. There are some properties where a Housing Association will hold the equity share. Occasionally these properties have slightly different rules, where some will allow you to buy out the equity share in staged payments and others will not allow you to purchase their equity share. (Housing association properties only)
  36. You will be made aware of any specific differences in the marketing material for the property. (Housing association properties only)

Whilst Cardiff Council offers its residents a range of housing options, there are generally more people looking for properties than are available and/or are suitable for their needs.

First Homes Cardiff could offer another housing choice for residents.  The scheme is available to first time buyers that live and / or work in Cardiff and gives people the opportunity to take the first steps onto the property ladder.  It is not aimed at people who can afford to buy a suitable property on the open market without assistance, or those who have previously owned a home but wish to move to a different area.

Who qualifies for the scheme?

Those that qualify for Cardiff Council’s First Homes Cardiff Scheme must be:

  • Over the age of 18
  • A current passport holder or have ‘indefinite leave to remain’ stamped on their passport. Applicants without indefinite leave to remain who are interested in buying a home must be able to demonstrate the ability to secure a mortgage with a reputable lender
  • A first time buyer
  • Living or working in Cardiff for the last six months; or are a keyworker moving to Cardiff for a job *
  • Able to meet the long-term financial commitment of home ownership
  • A first time buyer ‘in your own right’.  (People that fall into this category would be applicants that have jointly owned a property and as a result of a relationship breakdown no longer own a property)
  • People that are leaving the Armed Forces are eligible for the scheme if they have lived in Cardiff for at least six months immediately prior to joining the Armed Forces
  • People who are moving back to Cardiff for personal or professional reasons and have an established local connection
  • People whose financial or individual circumstances do not enable them to buy a similar property in the area on the open market

 * keyworkers are considered to be those working in Health and Social Care, Education and Childcare, Public Safety and National Security and Food and other necessary essential goods. Those considered key workers may change in line with government guidance

Those that do not qualify for the scheme include:

  • People that do not live or work in Cardiff or have an established local connection to Cardiff
  • People that currently have a financial interest in a property
  • People that have previously had a financial interest in a property as a sole owner
  • People that have benefited from any low cost or assisted home ownership initiative in the past as a sole owner
  • People who have a household income that would enable them to buy a same/similar property at full market value

If you do not meet the criteria to qualify for the scheme but there are exceptional circumstances in regard to your housing situation, please contact us for further discussion.

Joint Applicants

Joint applicants on the scheme must be two adults that qualify for the scheme following the criteria mentioned.  

We consider joint applicants to be:

  • People over the age of 18,
  • Both applicants must be on the application,
  • Both applicants must be on the mortgage,
  • Both must occupy the property bought through the scheme as their only or principal home.

A joint application will not be accepted if one of the applicants does not qualify for the scheme.

Nomination process

There are currently more people than there are properties available for purchase through the scheme. The following nomination process for New Developments and Resale Properties enables the Council to nominate applicants in a fair and transparent way and to match properties to the most suitable applicant(s).

All properties will be advertised for a set period.  To be considered for a property, applicants must submit a fully completed and signed application form, along with all the required evidence, including a valid mortgage certificate from a reputable mortgage broker, bank or building society and evidence of a 5% deposit at the time of application.

Properties will be nominated primarily in application order – this could potentially be before the end of the advertising period.

However, for family housing (three or four bedroom properties), applications received within the first 4 weeks that the property is advertised will be prioritised for families of appropriate household size. However, we encourage all applicants to apply as early in the process as possible.

In addition, some developments may be advertised for particular groups such as key workers. Any specific requirements will be made clear on the marketing details.

Evidence

Applicants must provide the following evidence:

  • Passport or Driving Licence and ILTR document, if applicable
  • Current Address – tenancy agreement or letter from parents/landlord (if not in private rented accommodation), plus utility bill or bank statement
  • Previous Addresses (last 3 years) – such as those listed above
  • Last 3 payslips for main employer
  • Employer Reference stating annual salary and dates employed
  • Valid Mortgage in Principle Certificate which must be based on maximum borrowing capability (not on the property value in question). Online certificates cannot be accepted.  The amount quoted on the certificate, plus savings for a deposit evidenced MUST cover the purchase price
  • If moving back to Cardiff for personal or professional reasons, applicants must provide proof of local connection, such as school report, or a utility bill for family member living in the local area *
  • Keyworkers only – proof that an applicant is moving back to Cardiff for a new job, such as contract or letter of employment from new employer.
  • Evidence of at least a 5% deposit of the advertised purchase price (not Market Value)

Key Considerations

The following should be taken into account when considering an application:

  • Each adult or couple should have their own room
  • Ideally each child (considered under 16 years of age) should have a separate bedroom but where this is not possible we would only expect children of the same sex to share a bedroom
  • Children of the opposite sex should not share a room where one child is over the age of nine
  • If it is not possible for a child to have their own bedroom then no more than two children should share a bedroom
  • A financial assessment to ensure affordability can be undertaken should the need arise. Affordability is classed as no more than 40% of monthly income to be spent on monthly mortgage payment
  • Further evidence can be requested and checks including land registry for previous /current home ownership can be undertaken as necessary
  • Applicants will be prioritised where housing choice meets household size/family makeup
  • In most cases households will only be nominated to properties where there is a maximum of one additional ‘spare’ bedroom compared to household size

Appeals Procedure

If an applicant is unhappy with the Council’s decision, they have the right to appeal.  Appeals must be in writing via letter or email to the Housing Development Team at the following address within 14 days of the decision letter:

Housing Development Team
Room 348, County Hall
Atlantic Wharf
Cardiff
CF10 4UW

Email the Housing Development Team

An appropriate Manager has 15 working days from receipt of the application to review the original decision and respond.  During this time, the Manager can request additional information from both the applicant and Home Ownership Officer.  The final decision will rest with the Corporate Director of People & Communities and applicants will be notified in writing.

We are open for business virtually and can be contacted via email and telephone.

We are also working within the relevant Welsh National Government guidelines to keep everyone safe and do the following as standard at our property viewings:

  • Mandatory face masks
  • Social distancing measures in place
  • Properties cleaned to high standard and ventilated during appointments

If you have bought through the First Homes Cardiff scheme and now want to sell your property, you will need to so we can find a buyer from the list of applicants on the scheme.

If we cannot find a buyer for your property within a given time, then for most of our properties, you can sell your property on the open market and repay the council or housing association the agreed shared of the purchase price. For the rules relating to this and any exemptions to this, you can refer to our Terms and Conditions

Equity purchase

After 3 years of ownership, most owners can buy out the council or housing association’s equity share.

Contact us to start the resale process.

Our Contact Details

Name:  First Homes Cardiff Scheme

Address: Room 348, County Hall, Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff, CF10 4UW

Phone Number: 07866 370 394

E-mail:  firsthomescardiff@cardiff.gov.uk

Website: https://www.devandregencardiff.co.uk/housing/first-homes-cardiff/

Your privacy is important to us. This information notice explains what personal data we collect from you and how we use it. Please read the information below and, if you’d then like more information, contact us.

Why do we process your personal information?

We process your personal information, including any special categories of personal information, in connection with promoting new developments as requested by you, purchasing your home or legal charge.

This would include us dealing with any solicitors, financial advisers, employers, valuation surveyors and contractors, on such matters as purchasing a home, re-mortgaging requests, and equity buyouts. We process this information either because it’s necessary for us to do so in order to manage your sale or purchase, or because there are laws that allow us, or require us, to process it. If you didn’t give us this information, we wouldn’t be able to administer your sale or provide the services under your legal charge.

The type of personal information we collect

We currently collect and process the following personal information, but is not limited to:

  • Personal identifiers:
    • Title, first name and surname
    • Contact details including postal address, email address and telephone numbers
    • National insurance number
    • Date of birth
  • Special Category:
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious belief
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital status
  • Languages spoken
  • Disability
  • Other information:
  • Dependents
  • Job title
  • Annual income
  • Savings
  • Citizenship
  • Scheme specific data:
  • Current housing circumstances
  • Mortgage information
  • Financial status and bank account details

How we get the personal information, why we have it & how we use it

Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you for one of the following reasons:

  • To ensure that you meet the scheme criteria
  • So that we can notify you on our waiting list when properties become available for sale through the scheme.
  • If you are successfully nominated to purchase a property, your details may need to be given to a developer or a housing association and/or the council’s Legal Team, so that they can start the sale proceedings.
  • And if you purchase through the scheme and later decide to sell your property on, we will require your contact details so they can be passed on to our appointed surveyor so they can carry out a survey on your home.

We also receive personal information indirectly, from the following sources in the following scenarios:

  • We may have received a referral from an online form via the council’s website
  • We may have received a referral from another department following an enquiry from you
  • We may have received an automated referral from ‘sister’ websites
  • Your details may have been passed to us by a developer

Organisations that we may share your personal data with

We may share this information with other departments within Cardiff Council, such as:

  • Cardiff Council Legal Team
  • Cardiff Council Finance Team

We may also share your personal information with relevant outside agencies, such as:

  • Our Housing Association partners (*currently Cardiff Community Housing Association, United Welsh & Wales and West Housing Association)
  • Contractors, Private developers, and builders.
  • Surveyors and Valuers – if you buy a property through the scheme and later decide to sell on, we will pass your name, address, telephone number and email address to our appointed surveyor so that they can carry out a property survey in order to establish a market value.
  • Your solicitor
  • Your employer
  • Your financial advisor
  • Your lender/mortgage provider

The lawful basis we rely on to process your personal information

The lawful basis we rely on for processing your personal information will generally be one of the following:

  • UK GDPR Article 6 (1) (a) You have provided consent for us to process your application.
  • UK GDPR Article 6 (1) (b) You have entered into a contract with us.
  • UK GDPR Article 6 (1) (f) We have a legitimate interest to process your data.

How we store your personal information

Your information is securely stored on password protected databases on a secure network with access only permitted to staff operating the First Homes Cardiff Scheme.

We will keep your personal data for different time periods depending on what we use it for-

Waiting List Database – you will remain on our database unless you tell us you want to be removed or you purchase a property through the scheme

Successful Applications – if you submit an application for a property and you are successful, then the form and evidence you submitted will be saved on our secure networks for a period of 7 years from the date of sale completion.

Unsuccessful applications – if you submit an application for a property and you are unsuccessful, then the form and evidence you submitted will be saved on our secure networks for a period of 6 months.

Nomination Referral – if you are nominated for a property and you are successful, then the form and evidence you submitted will be saved on our secure networks for a period of 7 years from the date of sale completion; if you are nominated for a property and you are unsuccessful, then the form and evidence you submitted will be saved on our secure networks for a period of 6 months from the date of submission.

Owner’s Database – if you buy a property through the scheme, then your name, family household, age, gender, mortgage details and occupation will be added to our owner’s database, together with the property details. You will remain on this database until such time as the property is sold. Once your property has been sold, only the property details will remain on the database, including the property address, price paid, equity split and the dates the property was bought and sold. All personal details will be removed.

Valuation Referral – Any emails or documents stored electronically relating to this will be deleted from our secure systems after a period of 1 year.

Your data protection rights

Under data protection law, you have rights including:

Your right of access – You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information.

Your right to rectification – You have the right to ask us to rectify personal information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.

Your right to erasure – You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.

Your right to restriction of processing – You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.

Your right to object to processing – You have the the right to object to the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.

Your right to data portability – You have the right to ask that we transfer the personal information you gave us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances.

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.

Please contact us at firsthomescardiff@cardiff.gov.uk if you wish to make a request.

How to complain

You can complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.

The ICO’s address:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113

ICO website: https://www.ico.org.uk

Contacting Data Protection

Please contact the Data Protection Officer for further information.

Data Protection Officer
Information Governance Team
County Hall
Atlantic Wharf
Cardiff
CF10 4UW

dataprotection@cardiff.gov.uk