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07/12/2015

Cameron announces expansion of shared ownership

Words: Laura Edgar
Housing / Shutterstock_227591032

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans to expand shared ownership to 175,000 people.

The plans aim to “radically reinvent the shared ownership scheme” to help deliver the government’s commitment to create one million homeowners over the next five years.

The expansion of the scheme allows people to part-buy, part-rent properties, increasing their ownership over time.

The government said it would also be putting an end to restrictions that stop people using the scheme more than once. Residents would be able to use the capital they have gained to move to a bigger property.

Additionally, the government said the rules dictating that only those in certain professions or those living in certain area can own a shared ownership property would change too.

From April 2016, people earning below £90,000 in London and £80,000 in the rest of England will be able to use the scheme.

Speaking at The de Ferrers Academy in Burton upon Trent, Cameron said: “For years, we’ve had shared ownership, where you part-buy, part-rent a property. So many people are attracted to this idea, especially those who thought they’d never have a chance of owning a home.

“But, because it’s been heavily restricted, many of those people have missed out. We’ve had local councils dictating who is eligible, based on everything from salary to profession to where the buyer comes from.

“From April next year, that will make 175,000 more people eligible for home ownership. It means some people will be able to buy a house, for example, in Yorkshire, with a deposit of just £1,400. It will be opened up to people of any occupation, the only restriction being that you have to earn under £80,000, and £90,000 in London.”

Cameron also announced that the delivery of starter homes for first-time buyers would be speeded up through an £8 million fund for councils to prepare land that is lying unused for the first wave of new homes.

The money, according to Cameron, should get “shovels in the ground” on 27 starter-home sites across the country.

To support the building of starter homes, the government is holding a consultation on proposals to broaden the definition of affordable housing to, it said, make it easier for house builders to provide affordable homes for purchase as well as rent. Widening the definition would enable low-cost home ownership homes to be built more swiftly.

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