A landmark 25,000 homes have now been purchased in Northern Ireland through the Co-Ownership affordable homes scheme.
The 25,000th Co-Ownership home is in Newtownards and belongs to young couple Allan McAvoy and Sarah Daly who welcomed Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, to their home.
During his visit, Minister Storey said: “It is a great pleasure to be welcomed into Allan and Sarah’s home, a young couple who with the help of Co-Ownership, have been able to take their first step into home ownership.”
In the past four years, the Department for Social Development has invested £168 million in Co-Ownership, enabling the purchase of almost 4,000 homes through Northern Ireland’s flagship affordable housing scheme over the past 4 years.
The Minister continued: “Through the Co-Ownership scheme, Government and the private sector are successfully providing affordable housing to many more people who want a base from which to build their future. Allan and Sarah represent the 25,000th local household to realise their dream of buying a home thanks to Co-Ownership and I am delighted that we are in position to assist them and others like them. I wish them all the best for their future together.”
Allan and Sarah said: “When we counted up the money spent on rent over the years we knew we needed to look at how we could buy our own house. We found the whole Co-Ownership experience quick and easy and we are glad we made the move. We wish we’d looked at Co-Ownership sooner.”
Alan Crowe, Chief Executive of Co-Ownership Housing said: “Co-Ownership is part of the fabric of Northern Ireland. The 25,000th Co-Ownership home is a landmark achievement and shows how popular this tried and tested route into home ownership continues to be. We congratulate Allan and Sarah and look forward to helping many more aspiring home owners.”
Presenting Allan and Sarah with a celebratory gift to mark the occasion, Sid McDowell Chairman of Co-Ownership Housing remarked: “It’s a privilege to be welcomed into Allan and Sarah’s lovely home. They can be justifiably proud of their achievement in getting onto the home ownership ladder.”
Co-Ownership Housing offers a free, confidential information service for anyone thinking about buying a home through the scheme. Further details on who qualifies for Co-Ownership and how to apply can be found on at www.co-ownership.org or by calling Co-Ownership Housing direct on 028 9032 7276.
Notes to editors:
1. The Co-Ownership scheme is the Department for Social Development’s flagship low cost home ownership scheme in Northern Ireland and its key delivery mechanism for affordable homes. A low cost route into home ownership for people who could not otherwise afford to buy a home, it has been operated by Co-Ownership Housing since the 1970s.
2. Purchasers buy a share in the property of their choice (from 50% up to 90% initially). Every case is assessed individually, and all properties are subject to valuation before purchase. Co-Ownership Housing provides up to 50% of the funding to the purchasers, who then contribute the balance towards the home of their choice, usually through mortgage from any one of several market suppliers. Purchasers start off with the percentage share in the property that they can afford and can then increase that initial share by buying part or all of the remaining equity in the property from Co-Ownership Housing at a later date.
3. Co-Ownership Housing is a registered Housing Association, an Industrial and Provident Society, and is accepted as a charity by the Inland Revenue.
4. From 2011/12 to 2014/15, Co-Ownership housing supported the purchase of 3,965 affordable homes, nearly double the target number of 2,000 in the Programme for Government.