In order to help people on low incomes take their first step towards home ownership, the Scottish Government has operated a scheme known as LIFT. LIFT stands for Low-cost Initiative for First Time buyers.

The LIFT scheme is based on shared equity in the house. It may be helpful if you are a first time buyer, need a new home because of a change in your circumstances or are disabled and need to find a more appropriate house.

In the LIFT scheme, a grant is made available to help the buyer acquire the property. Generally, the purchaser provides between 60% and 80% of the cash required – normally from securing a mortgage – and the Scottish Government grant makes up the rest of the purchase price. 

However, the grant is effectively an equity stake in the house, and if the house is sold, the homeowner must repay the same percentage of the value of the house to the Scottish Government. If, for example,  the LIFT grant amounted to 30% of the purchase price of (say) £100,000 and the house rose in value to £120,000, the repayment to the Scottish Government when it was sold would be £36,000.

Hjaltland Housing Association administer the scheme for the Scottish Government on Shetland. You can contact us if you’d like to discuss the LIFT scheme in more detail. You can also download a LIFT application form.

There is further information about LIFT on the Scottish Government's website.