New scheme to allow tenants to buy a share of their rental home

Lucy Frazer

Residents in social and affordable housing are being given the chance to buy a share in their home for the first time, as applications can now be made to for the government’s Right to Shared Ownership scheme.

The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities yesterday published new guidance for tenants to access the scheme, which provides an alternative pathway to homeownership.

Tenants will be able to buy a share of their property worth between 10% and 75%, giving them more control and autonomy over the home they live in.

Tenants will be eligible if they have been in social housing for three years, their property was built under the government’s Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26, and they have lived in it for a year. This option will become available to more tenants in the coming years.

The scheme comes as part of the government drive to help more people into homeownership.

Minister for housing, Lucy Frazer, said: “All hard-working families and young people deserve the chance to live in a home of their own.

“We are helping tenants to do just that by supporting them with small, manageable steps onto the housing ladder, through the Right to Shared Ownership.

“Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions people take and this is just one of the ways we are helping more first-time buyers reach their goal.”

Shared owners can gradually increase the equity stake in their home, with the option to eventually buy a 100% share in their property. This allows people to reduce the financial impact of buying a home, by accessing a lower mortgage and deposit.

Eligible tenants can apply for the Right to Shared Ownership by completing the new application form and returning it to their landlord, who will carry out a series of eligibility checks.

The scheme follows the government’s £11.5bn investment to build more of the genuinely affordable, quality homes this country needs – as part of the Affordable Homes Programme.

The government’s wider Shared Ownership programme has so far seen thousands of people take their first step on to the housing ladder, with an estimated over 136,600 new shared ownership homes built since 2010.

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