“86% of people aspire to own their own home. And it’s our job as a government and my job as a minister to turn this dream into a reality.
That’s why this Government is committed to delivering more affordable housing, making it easier for families to get onto the housing ladder. We believe that Shared Ownership has an important role to play in this, as part of a diverse and thriving housing market, helping those who aspire to home ownership but who may be otherwise unable to afford it.
Thousands of people could benefit from the recent extension to the Help to Buy: Shared Ownership scheme, which allows people to part-buy and part-rent a home, and to buy a larger share as and when they can afford to do so.
This makes Shared Ownership ideal for young first time buyers – those who want to buy but feel locked out of the housing market.
Buying a share in a home means lower mortgage costs and a lower deposit. And with new measures in place, the scheme is now more accessible and flexible than ever before. People can now get on the housing-ladder with a deposit as little as £1000.
As a Government that works for everyone, we have removed restrictions that previously blocked many people from using shared ownership.
We have introduced new measures to replace old-fashioned rules that in the past had restricted priority status to existing social tenants and locally defined priority groups.
Shared Ownership is now open to people of any occupation, while income caps have also been raised. This means that families earning up to £80,000 in England (and £90,000 in London) could be eligible, enabling 175,000 more households to have access to Shared Ownership and the opportunity of owning their own home.
A family in the North East, for instance, could need a deposit of just £1,500 to buy a 25% share in a typical shared ownership property in the region.
We also recognise that people’s circumstances change and their housing needs change.
Previous restrictions barred couples planning on expanding their family from buying a shared ownership home bigger than their current needs.
However, the recent extension to the scheme enables existing shared owners to move into new Shared Ownership properties to suit their changing needs. We have removed restrictions on bedroom numbers and scrapped barriers to growing families moving into larger homes.
With these new measures in place, Shared Ownership offers a nationwide opportunity for a new generation of home owners, and I’m delighted that Shared Ownership Week is helping to spread the word about what this scheme could help people achieve.
If you’re an aspiring homeowner and want to join the 309,000 households already benefiting from a Government-backed housing scheme, like Shared Ownership, make sure to visit www.ownyourhome.gov.uk to find out more about the many ways we could help you realise your ambition.”