Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced a new affordable housing initiative for people over 55 who want to move to a more suitable home that better meets their needs.
The Minister is providing £8m funding to Co-Ownership to pilot the shared ownership initiative.
Co-Ownership is the Department’s main delivery partner for affordable shared ownership and already provides people with the opportunity to own their own home through its products Co-Own and Rent to Own.
Minister Hargey said:
“It is vitally important that we promote access to affordable, good quality housing that supports people’s wellbeing in later life.
“I am therefore delighted to announce a funding allocation of £8 million to Co-Ownership to pilot a new affordable housing product, which will provide people with the opportunity to purchase homes which are more manageable and suitable as they age.”
Co-Own for Over 55s is based on a shared ownership model and is for people who want to move to a more suitable home that better meets their needs, but can’t afford to do so on their own.
The Minister continued:
“This new product will assist our ageing population to find accommodation suitable to their needs, enabling them to live as independently as possible for as long as possible, while at the same time, ensuring housing stock that is no longer suitable to the needs of an older person can be utilised by other families.”
Mark Graham, Chief Executive of Co-Ownership, said:
“We’re grateful to the Department for its support of our new product tailored specifically for people over 55.
“This new product bridges the gap between the value of someone’s current home or savings and the cost of a new home. This option gives people the opportunity to move to a more suitable home, or indeed become a homeowner if they been unable to buy a home in the past.
“There are many reasons why people over 55 may want to move - to be nearer friends and family, lower energy bills or less maintenance. As we get older, we can find that our home is no longer suitable for our needs or can’t support mobility issues.
“By living in a comfortable and suitable home, we’re supporting people to enjoy a more active and healthier lifestyle and helping remove the risk of their home environment becoming a worry or cause of anxiety to them.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the new Co-Own for Over 55s product should visit co-ownership. Here you can find out more and register an Expression of Interest to receive more information and details when the initiative goes live, expected to be in June 2022.
Notes to editors:
- Photo caption: Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is pictured with the Chief Executive of Co-Ownership Mark Graham, as she announced £8m funding to Co-Ownership to pilot a new affordable housing initiative for people over 55 who want to move to a more suitable home that better meets their needs.
- Financial Transactions Capital funding of £8 million is provided to Co-Ownership to pilot Co-Own for Over 55s, which aims to deliver 118 shared ownership homes over 4 years for people aged over 55.
- In the same way as Co-ownership’s main product (Co-Own) works, customers pay a small rent on the share of the home Co-Ownership owns, and use the equity from the sale of their current home or their savings to fund their share.
- Like Co-Own, customers can choose a suitable new build or existing home anywhere in NI up to a maximum value of £175,000.
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