Three former Premiership footballers find themselves on the same side to support Shared Ownership Week.
Rio Ferdinand, Mark Noble and Bobby Zamora now line up for Legacy – a property group they set up to champion affordable housing schemes based around sustainable onsite community and sporting facilities.
“It’s really encouraging to see housing associations coming together to champion one of the most important housing models of our time and I am delighted to be involved,” said Zamora.
“Shared Ownership Week is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of a more attainable way of getting on to the housing ladder.
“This is something that is very close to our hearts at Legacy, where we have spent a lot of time working on how to deliver high quality, more affordable homes and creating sustainable communities where people can live for generations.”
With Legacy in the field, housing minister Gavin Barwell is warming up for the fray with an eye on London deputy mayor for housing James Murray doing the same in the opposition dug out.
Barwell goes straight into the box from the off stating a “belief” that everyone should have the opportunity to realise their dream of buying a home.
“We’ve already helped hundreds of thousands of people become homeowners through government backed schemes and now by extending shared ownership even more people will benefit in the future. Shared Ownership Week is a great opportunity to find the homes in your area.”
“I welcome measures to make the process more accessible and easier to understand,” he said.
The week-long national campaign is back for its fourth year to help homebuyers understand how they could be eligible to secure a property with this pioneering scheme.
Also onside are many of the major housing associations including Guinness, L&Q, Notting Hill, East Thames, Newlon, Southern, Hyde, Circle, Moat, Metropolitan and Network.
Each will be showcasing their new build shared ownership developments throughout the week, sharing their expertise with potential buyers, and providing information on how the scheme works and where it’s available.
Shared ownership has been around since the 1980s but historically restricted, with local councils dictating who should be a priority based on a wide of range of factors from salary to profession to where the buyer comes from.
This year, the government relaxed eligibility criteria and now the scheme is open to people of any occupation, while income caps have been raised, meaning families earning up to £90,000 in London and £80,000 elsewhere could be eligible.
Second steppers can also now benefit from shared ownership when trying to climb the property ladder, with equal priority as first time buyers, and the cap on number of bedrooms has been lifted.
Shared ownership enables buyers to purchase a share in a brand new home that they can afford – usually a minimum of 25% of its market value – with as little as a 5% deposit.
The buyers pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share of the property, usually resulting in lower monthly costs than renting on the open market, and can buy further shares at any time, known as ‘staircasing’, right up to 100% and outright ownership.
Closing out the game, Zamora says: “The quality of shared ownership properties has changed considerably over the years. Nowadays you will find the specification and location of these homes will rival those for private sale.
“Also, the eligibility criteria has changed which means that more people are able to take advantage of this affordable buying option. Contrary to popular belief, shared ownership isn’t just for NHS staff, armed forces, teachers and other key workers, it’s for those who fit the criteria so it could be anyone from an accountant to a hairdresser!”
For more on Shared Ownership Week, visit www.sharedownershipweek.co.uk or follow
@SOWeekLive on Twitter.