Co-Ownership Housing

Northern Ireland Co-Ownership Housing could help you if you want to buy your first home, but cannot afford to buy without help. You buy a share of your property and rent the rest from Co-Ownership Housing.

How the buying scheme works

There is a cap on the value of the property you can buy through this scheme. This cap is  £150, 000.

You can start with as much as you can afford from 50 per cent up to 90 per cent of the property valuation, but is usually set at the maximum percentage considered to be sustainable for the buyer.

You can increase your share at any time, which is known as "staircasing".

Renting some of the property

In the scheme, you rent some of the property from Co-Ownership Housing. When you buy your home, the Department for Communities (DfC) sets the rent and any annual rent increases.

The rent  is based on the share of the property still owned by Co-Ownership Housing. For example, if you own 75 per cent of the property, the rent is calculated on the other 25 per cent.

Buying some of the property

In the scheme, you buy some of the property. You're responsible for making payments. You choose the lender and arrange a mortgage. Co-Ownership Housing doesn't ask for a property deposit but your lender might.

As an owner occupier, you will also be responsible for the property costs such as:

  • insurances
  • rates
  • ground rent
  • service charges
  • maintenance
  • repairs

Eligible for the co-ownership scheme

To buy a home with help from Co-Ownership Housing you must meet their and show:

  • you can afford to make the payments involved in buying a property
  • you don't have an alternative, unassisted, route into home ownership

For a guide to applying for Co-Ownership, a property viewing checklist and financial/budgeting tools online, go to:

Properties

Co-Ownership Housing makes the final decision on whether a property is suitable for buying. They apply the following criteria:

  • all properties depend on a valuation and in addition must have a price of £150, 000 or less
  • new properties must have a ten-year build warranty
  • properties under ten-years old must have the balance of the original build warranty

Applying to the co-ownership scheme

To apply, you use an application booklet. You pay  £400 to cover:

  • £150 processing fee
  • £40 valuation fee
  • £210 legal fee

You will need written evidence of circumstances to support your application.  

For an information pack and application booklet, go to the Co-Ownership Housing website:

To read more about home co-ownership, go to:

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