4. Buying through shared ownership

You can get a shared ownership home through a housing association. You buy a share of your home (between 25% and 75%) and pay rent on the rest.

There are different rules in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Contact your local authority to find out about buying a shared ownership home in Wales.

Eligibility

You can buy a home through shared ownership if your household earns £80,000 a year or less (or £90,000 a year or less in London) and any of the following apply:

  • you’re a first-time buyer
  • you used to own a home, but can’t afford to buy one now
  • you’re an existing shared owner

How it works

Shared ownership properties are always leasehold.

Older people

If you’re aged 55 or over you can buy up to 75% of your home through the Older People’s Shared Ownership (OPSO) scheme. Once you own 75% you won’t pay rent on the rest.

Disabled people

You can apply for a scheme called home ownership for people with a long-term disability (HOLD) if other Help to Buy scheme properties don’t meet your needs, for example you need a ground-floor property. With this scheme you can buy up to 25% of your home.

If you’re disabled you can also apply for the general shared ownership scheme and own up to 75% of your home.

Buying more shares

You can buy more of your home after you become the owner. This is known as ‘staircasing’.

The cost of your new share will depend on how much your home is worth when you want to buy the share.

It will cost:

  • more than your first share if property prices in your area have gone up
  • less than your first share if property prices in your area have gone down

The housing association will get your property valued and let you know the cost of your new share. You’ll have to pay the valuer’s fee.

Selling your home

If you own a share of your home, the housing association has the right to buy it first. This is known as ‘first refusal’. The housing association also has the right to find a buyer for your home.

If you own 100% of your home, you can sell it yourself.

How to apply

To buy a home through a shared ownership scheme contact the Help to Buy agent in the area where you want to live.