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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.

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