As Northern Ireland’s Co-Ownership Housing Association approaches 40-years, the organisation has announced that a remarkable 27,000 homes have now been purchased through the Shared Ownership Scheme.
The news comes on the back of Shared Ownership Month which took place this past September and follows recent annual report results which show that for the financial year 2016/17 first-time buyers made up 96% of Co-Ownership Housing home completions, a 2% increase on the previous year.
The landmark property, located in Rathfriland, was recently purchased by Lesa Maginn and Alan Gamble.
The young family attended a mortgage event in the town where they met with a Co-Ownership Housing advisor – the same advisor who guided the couple through the process from the initial open event through to final assessment and completion.
Annual report results show that, similar to Lesa and Alan, couples with children made up 26% of completions in 2016/17.
Commenting on the landmark purchase, Lesa said:
“Like many others, getting a mortgage by ourselves wasn’t an option for us. But we were determined to take our first step on to the property ladder to becoming homeowners. The team at Co-Ownership were fantastic at every stage of the application process and have supported us to realise our hopes of owning our own home.
“Our dream came true. Our advisor, along with the rest of the Co-Ownership Housing team alleviated any misconceptions we had of Co-Ownership and reassured us at every stage through their openness and professionalism.”
Alan added: “The only thing we would do differently is apply sooner. The process is straight-forward, we were supported greatly at every stage and that continues long after you join the scheme too.
“Co-Ownership afforded us the opportunity to own our family home and we can’t thank the team enough.”
Mark Graham, Chief Executive of Co-Ownership Housing, said: “We have seen significant year-on-year increases in applications to Co-Ownership Housing. Demand for Co-Ownership as a route to homeownership continues to increase as the struggle for many to raise funds to get a mortgage persists. Indeed, this is clear from our recent annual report showing that 96% of home purchases this year were first-time buyers.
“It has been a tremendous pleasure to support Lesa and Alan to purchase their own home, likewise with all Co-Ownership’s applicants who we have helped throughout our 40-year history.
“Co-Ownership Housing provides a viable, affordable route to homeownership and as we celebrate our 27,000th household completion, we look forward to the future to support many more in realising their potential of stepping on the property ladder in Northern Ireland.”
Co-Ownership Housing celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2018. First launched in 1978, the organisation has supported 27,000 households to purchase their own home through the Shared Ownership Scheme. At present, over 8,000 homes across Northern Ireland are currently Co-Ownership homes and the organisation plans to help 750 households into home ownership in the financial year 2017/18.