It's Shared Ownership Week 2016!
Friday 16th September 2016
WHAT IS SHARED OWNERSHIP?
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN DISPELS MYTHS SURROUNDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING PRODUCT
Confused by shared ownership? Think it’s just for key workers? Or just for first time buyers? Think again. A week-long national campaign is returning for its fourth year to raise awareness of the more affordable alternative home ownership product, starting on Thursday 15th September, to help homebuyers understand how they could be eligible to secure a property with this pioneering scheme.
Shared Ownership Week (15th – 21st September 2016) is backed by many of the major housing associations including Guinness, L&Q, Notting Hill, East Thames, Newlon, Southern, Hyde, Circle, Moat, Metropolitan and Network. Each will be showcasing their new build Shared Ownership developments throughout the week, sharing their expertise with potential buyers, and providing information on how the scheme works and where it is available.
The dedicated website www.sharedownershipweek.co.uk contains a wealth of information for prospective buyers too, including real life first time buyer case studies, videos and links to shared ownership homes currently available. In addition, three housing associations present in the North West have come together in order to support the week. Plusdane, Plumlife and Guinness will be promoting the week through www.sharedownershipweek-nw.co.uk
Championing Shared Ownership Week 2016, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, James Murray, said: “Shared Ownership can be an effective way to help people find a home they can afford to buy and I welcome measures to make the process more accessible and easier to understand. Sadiq and I are working hard to increase the amount of genuinely affordable homes to rent or buy in London, as part of our ongoing efforts to fix the capital’s housing crisis.”
The week is also supported by Legacy, a unique property group set up by Rio Ferdinand, Mark Noble, captain of West Ham United, and ex-England International footballer Bobby Zamora, to deliver schemes for Local Authorities that not only reduce the pressure on affordable housing and local community services, but will empower their tenants through onsite community and sporting facilities.
Bobby Zamora comments: “It’s really encouraging to see Housing Associations coming together to champion one of the most important housing models of our time and I am delighted to be involved.
“Shared Ownership Week is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of a more attainable way of getting on to the housing ladder. This is something that is very close to our hearts at Legacy, where we have spent a lot of time working on how to deliver high quality, more affordable homes and creating sustainable communities where people can live for generations.”
Bobby continues: “The quality of shared ownership properties has changed considerably over the years. Nowadays you will find the specification and location of these homes will rival those for private sale. Also, the eligibility criteria has changed which means that more people are able to take advantage of this affordable buying option. Contrary to popular belief, shared ownership isn’t just for NHS staff, armed forces, teachers and other key workers, it’s for those who fit the criteria so it could be anyone from an accountant to a hairdresser!”
Shared ownership has been available since the 1980s, but has been restricted with local councils dictating who should be a priority based on a wide of range of factors from salary to profession to where the buyer comes from. This year, the government relaxed eligibility criteria and now the scheme is open to people of any occupation, while income caps have been raised, meaning families earning up to £90,000 in London and £80,000 elsewhere could be eligible. Second steppers can also now benefit from shared ownership when trying to climb the property ladder, with equal priority as first-time buyers, and the cap on number of bedrooms has been lifted.
Shared ownership enables buyers to purchase a share in a brand new home that they can afford – usually a minimum of 25% of its market value – with as little as a 5% deposit. The buyers pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share of the property, usually resulting in lower monthly costs than renting on the open market, and can buy further shares at any time, known as ‘staircasing’, right up to 100% and outright ownership.
For more information on Shared Ownership Week, visit www.sharedownershipweek.co.uk or follow @SOWeekLive on Twitter for the latest news.
6th January 2018
The London Home Show Spring 2018 takes place on Saturday 3rd March at the QEIIC, Westminster, 11am – 5pm. The event, supported by the Mayor of London, is the No.1 event for first time buyers in the capital.
20th December 2017
Tickets are now available for the London Home Show Spring 2018. The London Home Show is the no.1 event for first time buyers in London, and takes place on the 3rd March 2018 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre Westminster. It's free to attend, register today to get your FREE tickets.
20th September 2017
Shared Ownership Week returns for its fifth year, 21st - 27th September. Shared Ownership week raises awareness this home ownership scheme which offers a life line to thousands of first time buyers.
19th September 2017
Countdown to the London Home Show Autumn 2017: Our sponsor Crest Nicholson give you the low down on their fantastic development Dylon Works, available via Help to Buy London.
FIRST STEPS is committed to the promotion of all types of accessible housing in London. We want to make the journey into your new home as simple as possible and to be sure that you know what to look for when searching for an affordable accessible home. All developments must be rated according to the type of accessibility they offer. That is why we have the following guide, based on the information provided in the Mayor of London's Accessible Housing Register, to help you understand what the rating of each property actually means.
A - Wheelchair Accessible Throughout
Meets the design standards from the Wheelchair Housing Design Guide which superseded the Housing Corporation wheelchair design standards. These properties have been designed to meet latest wheelchair accessible housing design standards, offering extra space and full access to all rooms and facilities. This standard provides more space than previous wheelchair housing design guidance and also ensures that all rooms are accessibly. In view of the high density of new build housing stock in London, the parking features have been excluded from this category. This will enable wheelchair accessible homes built above ground floor level to be categorised as such.
B - Wheelchair Accessible essential rooms
Complies with the Wheelchair Housing Design Guidance within the Housing Corporation Scheme Development Standards. Properties designed of adapted to provide access for wheelchair users to essential facilities of the property (that is, a bedroom, bathroom, toilet, living room and kitchen). Other rooms in the house such as additional bedrooms or bathrooms may not be wheelchair accessible.
C - Lifetime Homes
Meets the space standards of the Lifetime Homes developed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Designed to meet the space standards of Lifetime Homes. Main features include a level approach/entrance and wider doorways. This category will capture all new general needs housing built to Lifetime Homes standards. Properties achieving this category will not necessarily meet all Lifetime Homes design guidance as the LAHR framework does not assess features other than space and access. Properties may have an internal flight of stairs. If so, these will be wide enough to accommodate future provision of a stair lift subject to technical feasibility.
D - Easy Access
Compatible with the design standards in Mobility Standard Housing (1974) produced by the DoE and Housing Corporation Scheme Development Standards (pre-1999) and Part M of Building Regulations (2000). The main features of these properties include a level approach to the entrance, wider doorways and more space than in general needs housing. These properties may also have an internal flight of stairs and if so, there is enough space to accommodate future provision of a stair lift subject to technical feasibility.
E - Step Free
No published access design guidance. These are properties that are considered general needs housing but have a level approach/entrance into the property and throughout. Properties in this category that have an internal flight of stair will be likely to accommodate future provision of a stair lift subject to technical feasibility.
E+. Minimal steps
No published access design guidance. Properties that do not meet any accessibly housing design guidance and have a limited number of steps to enter the property. Properties in this category will have no more than four steps to access the front door and are likely to be ground floor properties or properties in a block with a lift and a small number of communal or property front door steps.
F - General Needs
General needs housing does not meet any of the above criteria. Properties in this category will have more than four steps or a ramp access that is steeper than 1:10 to access the property front door. These properties should be marketed with the number of steps to access the property as this will provide an additional factor for helping people choosing what to bid for.
The Accessible Housing Register captures the essential information which determines the category awarded to a property. Additional information is also collected. This includes:
- Details of major adaptations such as level access showers and stair lifts
- Private garden or balcony
- Proximity to local shops
- Proximity to public transport