Fareham council’s first shared ownership scheme launched

By Chief Correspondent, Rob Thomas

FAREHAM council has introduced a shared ownership scheme for a new housing development and applicants do not have to had any previous connection with the borough.

Planning approval has been given for 11 affordable houses to be built at what will be called Capella Close – in the Stubbington Lane area of Hill Head – and all will be available under the shared ownership scheme.

Construction is underway and when completed there will be two one-bedroom houses, seven two-bedroom houses, and two three-bedroom houses, and the specifications include fitted kitchens with oven and induction hobs, grey carpeting throughout, gas central heating, and solar panels on all the homes.

Further details including the plans of each property are available HERE.

‘helping people onto the property ladder’

The council’s Shared Ownership Policy and Processes states that the aim is, “to help those who wish to get on the property ladder but are unable to afford a home on the open market.”

Under the scheme, a successful applicant buys a share of between 25 and 75 per cent of the home’s market value and then pays rent on the remaining share.

It means that people who do not have enough money for a deposit on a property or cannot afford a full mortgage can get onto the property ladder. If their financial situation improves over time, they can increase their percentage share of the property – a process known as ‘staircasing’ – until they own the property outright.

Eligibility

The eligibility criteria are set out in the Shared Ownership Policy and Processes document and include that applicants must:

  • be aged over 18 and resident in the UK
  • have a gross household income of less than £80,000
  • be able to demonstrate they are unable to purchase a home on the open market
  • be able to afford their purchase and sustain housing costs, and
  • be able to demonstrate that they are not in rent arrears or in breach of their tenancy agreement at the time of application.

There is no explicit statement that the applicant must have a connection with the borough of Fareham.

The policy states: “Households can first state an interest in accessing shared ownership property through the council’s Affordable Home Ownership Register. This is not an essential requirement to access shared properties.”

However, people interested in purchasing a Shared Ownership property must first register with Help to Buy South – the agent appointed by the government to provide shared ownership properties in the South of England.

Capella Close is not the only development for shared ownership being planned by Fareham Borough Council – work is due to start this year on the construction of five-one bedroom and four two-bedroom flats on the site of the former Scout Hut, Montefiore Drive, Sarisbury Green.

Image (top): artist’s impression of Capella Close. Fareham Borough Council, Reproduced with permission