The demand for shared ownership housing is rising significantly in Northern Ireland, with Co-Ownership Housing revealing that applications have increased by 7% in the past financial year.
Throughout the organisation’s almost 40-year history, it has successfully supported over 26,000 households to purchase the home of their choice and has funding in place to support a further 900 prospective home-owners in Northern Ireland get on the property ladder by March 2018.
Over 8,000 homes across Northern Ireland are currently Co-Ownership homes.
News of the year-on-year increase came as Co-Ownership Housing, Northern Ireland’s regional body for shared ownership and the organisation that runs the Co-Ownership Scheme, marks September as its Shared Ownership Month, a month-long outreach campaign to communicate the organisation’s rich history and help prospective home-owners in Northern Ireland get on the property ladder.
Mark Graham, Chief Executive at Co-Ownership Housing, said: “It is our goal to support as many people as we can to get on to the property ladder in Northern Ireland. Throughout our Shared Ownership Month in September we will be hosting a series of drop-in sessions across Northern Ireland in Derry-Londonderry, Dungannon and Belfast to support and advise on the range of products available to get on the path to becoming a homeowner, including our latest Rent to Own product.
“We know that struggling to raise deposits and lower incomes in Northern Ireland is fuelling demand for Co-Ownership. Buying through Co-Ownership is cheaper than renting, and more affordable than placing a significant deposit on a property. Additionally, customers can buy Co-Ownership out at any time through the ‘staircasing’ process which we actively encourage.
“Gradually increasing a purchaser’s share in their chosen property through staircasing not only guides that individual toward complete ownership of their home in an affordable way, but long-term this helps us to support more people make that first step toward home-ownership.”
Co-Ownership Housing has a range of online resources available on their website including literature to download for further information, a budget planner and a repayments calculator.
There are three drop-in sessions taking place in September where advisors are available to help customer find out more about Co-Ownership and to support them during the application process.
The drop-in sessions are free to attend and no advance booking is required. They are taking place at City Hotel, Derry-Londonderry on September 7; The Cohannon Inn, Dungannon on September 14; and at Co-Ownership Housing’s offices at Murray House, Murray St, Belfast on September 21. All drop-in sessions take place from 5-7pm.
Ben Collins, Chief Executive, NIFHA, congratulated Co-Ownership on their achievements. “It’s wonderful to see how successful shared ownership is here in Northern Ireland and how it is making it possible for so many people to purchase their own homes.”
He added: “The activities taking place as part of Shared Ownership Month are also to be welcomed, as they help spread the word about this path to owning a home. I’d encourage anyone with an interest to go along to one of the drop-in sessions in Derry, Dungannon and Belfast.”
For more information, visit co-ownership.org or call 02890327276. You can also visit the Co-Ownership Housing office on Murray Street, Belfast, where advisors are available to help with any queries.