Relaxation on shared ownership criteria

New measures announced by the government will allow potential homeowners around the country to need a deposit as small as £1,500 to achieve homeownership.

The changes could enable thousands of people to benefit from an extension to the shared ownership scheme, which allows people to part buy and part rent their home and watch their equity grow over time.

As part of a national housing agenda, the government is relaxing the criteria for those who can apply for the scheme from April 2016, meaning 175,000 more people will be eligible for homeownership across the country.

Shared ownership has been available since the 1980s. From April, the scheme will be opened up to people of any occupation, with income caps also being raised, meaning families earning up to £90,000 in London and £80,000 elsewhere could be eligible.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Shared ownership schemes have proved a real help to first-time buyers, but punitive restrictions have locked too many out of this opportunity to buy.

“These changes will open the door for thousands of people across the country to own their own home.”

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis added: “We believe that anybody who works hard and aspires to own their own home should have the opportunity to realise their dream.

“Shared ownership is a great way for people to achieve that with just a fraction of the deposit they would normally need. Now thanks to our vision thousands more people will be able to benefit from this scheme. It’s all part of a national crusade to turn generation rent into generation buy, helping one million more people into homeownership.”