Government opens shared ownership up further

Sarah Davidson

January 7, 2016

The government is relaxing the criteria for those who can apply for the shared ownership scheme from April.

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.

Under the new measures the scheme will be opened up to people of any occupation while income caps will also be raised, meaning families earning up to £90,000 in London and £80,000 elsewhere could be eligible.

Ministers estimate this will give 175,000 more people will be eligible for homeownership across the country.

Communities secretary Greg Clark said: “We’re determined to ensure that hardworking people right across the country once again see home ownership as an achievable ambition to achieve.

“Shared ownership schemes have proved a real help to first-time buyers, but punitive restrictions have locked too many out of this opportunity to buy.

“These changes will open the door for thousands of people across the country to own their own home.”

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said: “We believe that anybody who works hard and aspires to own their own home should have the opportunity to realise their dream.

“Shared ownership is a great way for people to achieve that with just a fraction of the deposit they would normally need. Now thanks to our vision thousands more people will be able to benefit from this scheme.

“It’s all part of a national crusade to turn generation rent into generation buy, helping one million more people into homeownership.”

Government workings suggest the relaxed criteria could mean a family in the North East could need a deposit of just £1,500 to buy a 25% share in a typical shared ownership property in the region.

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