Last year more than 250 households achieved their dream of owning their own home in Wiltshire with an average household income of just £29,000, says Wiltshire Council.
People are being encouraged to find out more about owning their own home as Wiltshire Council invests in a range of affordable housing.
During national Shared Ownership Week, the council says it is keen to dispel myths around who can purchase a shared ownership home and ensure people are aware of the opportunities available.
In 2018-19 there were 752 new affordable homes built and completed in Wiltshire – the highest rate of delivery since Wiltshire Council became a unitary authority in 2009. Over one third of those new homes were offered for sale as shared ownership homes.
Shared ownership is a form of low cost home ownership for those who wish to own a place of their own, but cannot afford to buy a property on the open market. It provides an affordable, smart way to buying a new or resale home.
The buyer purchases a share in a property – usually a minimum of 25 percent of the home’s value – and pay a subsidised rent on the part they don’t own. You live in the property and maintain the property the same as if you owned it in full. In future, if you wish, you can usually buy further shares until you own your home outright.
Qualifying applicants can purchase a share of a home from a housing association or the council, and pay rent to the housing association or council for the remaining share.
If people have a household income of less than £80,000 they can register for shared ownership housing.
Shared Ownership is also for people later in life who are looking to move into more suitable accommodation but can’t afford to purchase retirement living accommodation on the open market. Wiltshire Council offer this opportunity at two retirement living schemes in the county: Evergreen Court in Amesbury and Needham House in Devizes.
Older Peoples Shared Ownership (OPSO) means people can sell their existing home and purchase up to 75 percent of the market value and pay no rent on the remaining 25 percent. There is no set income or capital threshold, each case is taken on merit, including whether you could afford to purchase something in the open market and what care costs you may incur in the coming years. To be considered for OPSO people need to register on Homes 4 Wiltshire
Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Housing said: ‘Many people don’t realise they can own their own home through a scheme such as shared ownership. They don’t think they are eligible or they’re not suitable and it’s time we dispelled those myths.
‘Across the county we are building affordable homes and investing in shared ownership schemes. I would really encourage people to come forward and find out more about shared ownership and how it can benefit them.’
Applicants can register for shared ownership schemes through Help to Buy South.
Wiltshire Council also has more information on shared ownership housing on its website.