Help to buy a house

Help to buy a home if you have a low income

The Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme helps first time buyers, and other priority groups, get onto the property ladder by providing an interest free loan towards the cost of a home. The Scottish Government provides funding of between 10% and 40% of the sale price and gets the same percentage back when the property is sold.

In addition to first time buyers, the following groups get priority access to the scheme:

  • social renters
  • people with a disability who can demonstrate a housing need  
  • members of the armed forces
  • veterans who have left the armed forces within the past two years
  • widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel who have lost their life while serving in the armed forces within the last two years  
  • people aged over 60 who can demonstrate a housing need

The LIFT scheme

Changes to the LIFT Scheme Threshold Prices in the Scottish Borders

Following a review from the Scottish Government, the threshold prices for properties purchased through the LIFT OMSE scheme have been updated in the Scottish Borders.  

Buyers purchasing through the LIFT scheme in the Scottish Borders can now consider properties up to the following price thresholds: 

Property size 

Threshold price 

two apartment* 


three apartment 


four apartment 


five apartment 


six apartment 


*an apartment is classed as a habitable room including:

  • bedrooms
  • living rooms
  • dining rooms
  • box rooms
  • sunrooms

Kitchens, bathrooms and conservatories are not classed as apartments. The size of property you can buy depends upon how many people are in your household. 

Link Housing

Link Housing administer the LIFT scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government for the whole of Scotland, applications to the scheme are made through Link’s dedicated LIFT team. For more information or help to apply: