Co-Ownership Housing, Northern Ireland’s primary provider of shared ownership has secured £165m to invest in the provision of 2,800 homes over four years. This will enable up to 4,000 people to get on the property ladder and will support the creation of new jobs in the construction sector.
£65m has been raised through private finance from Bank of Ireland. This new facility complements Co-Ownership Housings’ existing government funding of £100m financial transactions capital (FTC) from the Department for Communities. Combined, this is one of the largest finance deals in Northern Ireland and represents a real investment in people and the local economy.
“Co-Ownership is a brand that is trusted by customers and mortgage providers alike,” said Mark Graham, chief executive, Co-Ownership Housing. “To date we have helped over 26,000 households onto the property ladder, and we know the difference the scheme is making in people’s lives. Our work couldn’t continue without the financial support from the Department for Communities and Bank of Ireland. This funding allows us to continue to support lower income households, particularly first time buyers, to realise their aspirations of owning their own home.”
The Co-Ownership scheme is aimed at first time buyers and others returning to the market who could not otherwise afford to buy a home on their own. Home buyers choose their own property up to the value of £150,000, anywhere in Northern Ireland. They buy a starter share in the value of their home between 50% to 90% and pay rent on the remaining share, significantly less rent than they would pay on the open market. Purchasers can then increase their share in the property at any time in part or in full to own their home outright, a process known as staircasing.
“Co-Ownership Housing is an important means of helping people in Northern Ireland realise their ambitions into home ownership,” said Ian Sheppard, regional director NI, Bank of Ireland. “We are delighted to continue the longstanding relationship Bank of Ireland has with Co-Ownership Housing and this transaction underpins our ongoing commitment to the local housing market.”
“I am delighted that Co-Ownership Housing has secured additional funding to support first time buyers and those returning to the market to gain and regain a foothold on the property ladder,” said Paul Givan, MLA, Minister for Communities. “This funding complements the £100 million in financial transactions capital funding already provided to Co-Ownership Housing by the Executive and will allow us to assist almost 4,000 families and individuals to achieve the dream of owning their own home. It will also provide a boost to local economy by supporting the construction industry to build much needed new affordable homes and in providing new customers for local businesses of household goods and furnishings. I wish all future Co-Ownership purchasers all the best in their new homes.”