Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced wider support for Co-Ownership housing.
The change sees an increase in the Co- Ownership property value limit from £175,000 to £190,000 to continue to support people into home ownership.
The property value limit is the cap on the value of a property that can be purchased through Co- Ownership, and applies to Co-Own, Rent to Own and Co-Own for Over 55s.
Minister Hargey said: “I want to ensure people and families can access good quality, affordable housing. That is why my Department is increasing the Co-Ownership property value limit by £15,000 to £190,000.
“I have heard first-hand how energy bills and other price increases have created very challenging and uncertain economic times for many people, especially those from lower income households.
“Shared ownership can provide an alternative to the private rented sector. It is important that the option of shared ownership is open to as many people as possible. Today’s announcement will help more households own their own home, where affordability barriers are otherwise preventing them from doing so.”
Co-Ownership is the Department’s main delivery partner for affordable shared ownership housing, with 10,000 customers across Northern Ireland currently being supported.
Mark Graham, chief executive of Co-Ownership, said: “Prices continue to rise across the local property market, so we are delighted with the Department for Communities decision to increase our property value limit to £190,000. We welcome this agility as it helps us to continue to support as many people into home ownership as possible by keeping pace with and reacting to the current challenges presenting themselves to first time buyers.
“Crucially, this renewed property value limit remains ahead of the average house price in Northern Ireland so we’re confident that this change will have a positive impact on incoming applicants. We have helped over 30,000 people to date and year on year we are responsible for around 10 per cent of the first buyers’ market indicating the continued need for alternative routes to home ownership.
“As this announcement details, we remain committed to helping those who may not otherwise be able to afford a home of their own.”
The new limit will apply to applications submitted to Co-Ownership on or after September 21 2022.
Further information about all of Co-Ownership’s products can be found by visiting www.co-ownership.org