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Housing Association - Shared Ownership

Housing Association Shared Ownership aims to help people on low to moderate incomes purchase affordable property. In this scheme a Housing Association will allow you to purchase a share in a property of between 25% and 75%. The Housing Association still owns the rest. You do not own the property outright. You usually have to pay an ‘occupancy charge’ (basically rent) on the share you do not own. You can staircase later, up to 100%. Your occupancy charge will be reduced to reflect how much you own of the property.

The properties are from the Housing Association’s own stock, so you cannot buy on the open market. You are still responsible for repairs, maintenance costs and contents insurance, although depending on the Housing Association and the terms of the agreement, buildings insurance may be included.

If you sell, you usually have to offer the Housing Association first right of refusal.

Who is entitled to apply for Housing Association Shared Ownership?

Priority access is given to:

  • first time buyers with limited housing alternatives
  • public sector tenants
  • families on low incomes
  • those with special needs
  • members of the armed forces
  • veterans who have left the armed forces within the past two years
  • widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel killed in action for up to two years after their partner has been killed.

Are there any limitations on a shared ownership home?

You can’t purchase a shared ownership home as a buy-to-let or second home. It must be your only residence. However, if your circumstances change after you buy the home, and you need to let the property or rent a room out, you must contact the Housing Association for consent, which may be given on a case by case basis.

The shared ownership agreement is usually for 20 years after which you must have made arrangements to staircase to 100% or sell the property. It may be possible to extend this agreement.

More information on Shared Ownership (Scottish Government website)

More about Help to Buy Schemes available in Scotland

To find out if there are shared ownership schemes in your area, try contacting your local council for details of housing associations, or visit the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations for a directory of housing associations in Scotland.

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