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Shared ownership

Shared ownership

Shared ownership is a way of getting onto the housing ladder without taking out an overbearing mortgage or needing a huge deposit.

As part of Shared Ownership Week (Thursday 17 to Wednesday 23 September), we’re explaining how the scheme could help you to own part of your home.

Being able to buy a new home at an affordable price is what shared ownership is all about. It involves owning a percentage of your home and paying a reduced rent on the remainder.

We’re developing a broad mix of new properties including homes for rent, supported housing and shared ownership. New housing has to help people in a wide range of circumstances and offer a choice of good quality affordable homes in the areas it’s needed most.

We’ll use the money we get from shared ownership sales to build more homes for affordable rent and regenerate communities.

We market our shared ownership properties under the name Stonecross Homes. It’s still us and our staff, but the different name helps to differentiate it from our affordable rent properties.

If this interests you or someone you know, here’s a deeper look into what it is and what’s involved:

 

What’s shared ownership housing?

Shared ownership is part buying and renting a home. You buy a share of the property, usually between 35% and 75%, and then rent the part you don’t own at a reduced rate. You then have the option to buy a bigger share in the property after 12 months.

 

Who’s shared ownership for?

Shared ownership is for anyone who would like to buy their own home, including current housing association tenants. This includes first-time buyers and also people who used to own a home but can’t afford one now. Those eligible include people whose combined household income is less than £80,000 and who don’t currently own another property. Military personnel are given priority for shared ownership homes.

 

How do I apply?

To apply for a shared ownership property, speak to our Stonecross Homes Team on 01204 329922.

 

Is shared ownership a new idea?

People have been buying shared ownership homes for around for 40 years. We think it’s an effective way of providing more affordable homes and increasing choice for local people. Housing associations are also being encouraged by Government to develop more new-build shared ownership developments.

 

Why’s shared ownership popular?

For many people, the widening gap between property values and wages has made shared ownership the most realistic way to get on the property ladder. Also, instead of having to put down a deposit of at least 5% of a property’s full value to unlock a mortgage, this way the you’d only need a percentage based on the share you’re acquiring.

 

Is shared ownership anything to do with Help to Buy?

While shared ownership comes under the Government’s broader Help to Buy umbrella, it’s a different offer and shouldn’t be confused with other Government backed schemes to help homeowners such as Help to Buy, shared equity and Right to Buy.

 

How’s shared ownership different to shared equity?

With shared ownership, you only own a part of the property with an option to buy more. With shared equity, you own all the property from the start but must repay a proportion of its value when you sell it. This is the proportion of Government equity you took to buy the property.

 

Where will these schemes be built?

Our first shared ownership development was Park Grove, a 21-home new-build scheme in Westhoughton. This provided a mix of two and three-bedroom properties.

Our second development was at Guild Street, Bromley Cross, offering 14 three-bedroom semi-detached houses.

We’ve since created new properties in Skelmersdale and Whittle Le Woods, and we acquire shared ownership homes from private developers. We’re currently on-site with more properties in Westhoughton, Bolton Town Centre and Horwich, with Cottam and Leyland to follow.

For future shared ownership developments, we’re in the process of identifying suitable locations. Much depends on us being able to identify suitable available land, get planning permission, and buy the land at the right price to make the development possible.

Make a note of our Stonecross Homes number- 01204 329922 for any enquiries.

 

What’s Stonecross Homes?

Stonecross Homes is the brand name we use to market our shared ownership developments and properties. The developments are led internally by our Development Team. Having a different name is simply a way to differentiate our shared ownership schemes when marketing them to potential customers. It helps us show that this is a different type of housing tenure. It’s standard practice within the housing sector.

 

Will the organisation generate money from shared ownership housing sales?

Yes. Shared ownership sales will generate much-needed income for Bolton at Home, which is another reason we’re doing this. As a not-for-profit organisation, we’ll reinvest this income into our housing stock as a whole and other regeneration projects that benefit our customers and communities.

 

Are we still committed to building affordable rented housing?

Yes. While we’ll be doing more shared ownership, it’ll make up a small proportion of the total number of homes we provide. We’re developing other new-build schemes, including extra care, in Bolton & beyond to help more people move into rented affordable housing.

Along with other housing associations in Greater Manchester, we’ve pledged to develop shared ownership homes as part of the grant funding we get from Government to provide a mix of tenures.

 

How will we prevent abuse of the shared ownership scheme?

It’s not open to those who already own a property or those whose income is too high to meet our criteria. No landlord ownership or subletting of the properties is allowed.

 

How do our tenants, and others, apply for our shared ownership properties?

Apply through Stonecross Homes. You’ll need to apply for a mortgage to buy your share of the property and undergo the affordability checks made by your lender and us. You’ll also be expected to pay a deposit.

 

For more information on Stonecross Homes and available properties, please visit: www.stonecrosshomes.co.uk; follow @StonecrossSales on Twitter or phone our team on 01204 329922.

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