Money Matters By Chris Morgan

The reason an ongoing HIV Finance Column is needed?

Many of you will be aware that I’ve been advising people living with HIV for almost 20 years, during which time there have been many changes to the way that people with HIV are treated by the financial services industry.

The repression that Insurers imposed on people living with HIV and constantly refusing them for Life Insurance products, created a belief that other financial products were also unavailable. Even to this day many people simply do not believe they are able to get a mortgage to purchase a home due to this discrimination.

The effect of being constantly told by insurers they cannot obtain life assurance has affected generations of people living with HIV. It is for this reason that in 2016, I again assisted the Association of British Insurers in creating the “HIV and Life Insurance” Consumer Guide. In 2017 I visited many of the major HIV charities and organisations and delivered the HIV & Finance Workshop across the UK.

Money Matters is my new HIV Finance column, that is specially written for a syndication of over 20,000 HIV professionals, Peer Support Mentors and Service Users connected to these HIV organisations. The content is focused on issues such as debt management, credit reports, getting a mortgage if living with HIV, the property process, information about different types of mortgages and of course Life Assurance.

During the last year the HIV & Finance Workshop visited 12 cities and we trained over 150 HIV professionals, the Money Matters column is designed to encourage people to learn and about their credit reports, getting a mortgage or the process of buying a property. This ongoing column is so I can keep people updated of financial issues relevant to the HIV Community.

This issue the spotlight is on “Right to Buy”, as I have met many people with HIV who have delayed the decision to buy a property or have turned down their “Right to Buy” with their local authority property. Unusual Risks believe it is important that mortgages and life assurance are available to as many groups of people as possible and through the Money Matters column I can encourage and coach many more people to take care of their financial future.

Recently the National Aids Trust published a report where they pointed out that 49% of people were still unaware Life Assurance was available even though it has been available since 2009 and 60% had avoided applying for a financial product because of their HIV status due to fears of high cost, refusal and stigma.

Money Matters is my commitment and contribution to trying to readdress this in-balance and helping as many people living with HIV to access financial products as possible and improve their overall quality of life. Many people within the HIV Community refer to the UN’s 90-90-90 targets set in 2014 and are calling for a fourth 90 target focused helping people achieve a good quality of life.

I believe that financial issues can directly impact on a person’s health and wellbeing, so in the coming issues we will be sharing information and advice that will help people to manage their debts, organise their finances and secure their property with mortgage finance. We hope people will gain great benefit by reading, learning and ultimately looking after their financial future.

Hot Mortgage Topics – Right to Buy

Recently we met a couple who had been trying to purchase a Right to Buy Property for the last four year’s,but had encountered many hurdles with regards to her income, employment, affordability and health status. They have the maximum discount available to them of £78,600 but had initially delayed their decision because they did not believe they could complete the purchase due to their HIV status.

There are no health questions as such on a mortgage application relating to HIV status, however, it is highly likely that somewhere in the process whilst dealing with your bank or a mainstream financial adviser you will be asked about health when taking out Insurance products.

Life Assurance products do have health questions and in particular they have direct questions relating to HIV status. This was the main reason that our recent client decided to delay their decision to buy their local authority property.


Many local authorities offer discounts to tenants who have lived in their properties for more than three years, these discounts range from 35% up to 70% of the property value, with an overall maximum of £104,900 in London and £78,600 in the rest of the UK reduction that can be made.


You can make a purchase if you have been a public-sector tenant for the last three years. The person buying has to be someone who has been on the “Rent Book” for the last three years and not someone recently added. The local authority will be able to confirm if you are eligible.


Not all mortgage lenders will lend on a local authority “Right To Buy” property and in particular they may not lend if the property is of non-standard construction, or deemed to be unsuitable for mortgage purposes. There are in fact “Off High Street” lenders that offer mortgages on properties of a non-standard construction.

How do I apply?

First step is to complete a RTB1 form and send to your landlord, who will respond with a RTB2 which will confirm if you have the Right to Buy, you should get this within 4 to 8 weeks of submitting your RTB1. If you have the Right to Buy the landlord will then send you a separate offer notice telling you how much you will need to pay for the property within 8 weeks.

Specialist Advice

With discounts of up to £104,900 available it is advisable to take specialist financial advice, particularly if you are living with HIV and unsure of approaching your bank or mainstream financial adviser. Unusual Risks have helped literally hundreds of people raise mortgage finance and secure their financial future.

Your health status should not prevent you from buying your home or making provisions for your financial future. Unusual Risks are the UK’s leading financial advisers looking after people living with HIV and our Financial Adviser Chris Morgan has been advising people living with HIV for over 20 years.

Money Matters is now both syndicated and in print with an overall readership of over 20,000. if your organisation would like printed copies of the Unusual Risks News Bulletin, Money Matters and Hot Mortgage Topics, then please email me using the email address below. 

Chris Morgan has been advising people living with HIV for almost two decades on financial matters. He is a consultant to the Association of British Insurers, HIV Working Group (2005 to 2018). He co-wrote the Life Insurance Industry Guidance on HIV and also the HIV and Life Insurance Consumer Guide that are both currently in use today. He can be contacted by emailing him at or via the website