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Government to expand shared ownership scheme

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The Prime Minister is set to announce an expansion of the government’s shared ownership scheme to allow an additional 175,000 aspiring homeowners to join the initiative.

David Cameron is expected to announce in a speech today that restrictions that stop people using the scheme more than once will be removed, allowing those already in a shared ownership property to move to another.

Through a shared ownership scheme, people can part buy and part rent properties while increasing their ownership overtime. The changes mean that existing shared owners will be able to use the capital accumulated from their first home to move to a bigger property.

Applicants can buy a stake of between 25% and 75% of the property, using a deposit and a mortgage. Rent of up to 3% is then paid on the remaining share which is owned by the local housing association.

The government will also remove rules that only allow those in certain professions such as key workers or those living in certain areas to have access to a shared ownership property. To be eligible for the scheme, individuals must earn below £90,000 in London and £80,000 in the rest of England.

Cameron will say: “For years, we’ve had shared ownership, where you part-buy, part-rent a property. 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.”

Cameron is also expected to announce that the delivery of discounted Starter Homes for first-time buyers will be sped up, through an £8m fund for councils to prepare unused land.

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