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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Shared ownership

Shared ownership means you buy a part of a property and someone else buys the rest. You then pay rent on the part of the property you don't own. 

Northern Ireland has two shared ownership schemes

  • Co-ownership Housing, and
  • FairShare

Buying a home with Co-ownership Housing

You can apply to buy a home through Co-ownership if

  • you are over 18 and live in the UK
  • you do not currently own any property or land anywhere
  • the property will be your only home and you won't use it for business
  • your immigration status gives you a right to live in Northern Ireland
  • you have not had any payday loans or home credit within the last 12 months
  • you have no outstanding bad credit, such as CCJs or defaulted loans, at the time you apply
  • you could not afford the property without using the Co-Ownership scheme
  • the property you want to buy is valued at £175,000 or less

You can buy between 50% and 90% of a property. Co-ownership Housing will buy the rest and rent it to you. 

Applying to Co-ownership Housing

Visit Co-ownership Housing's website to find out more about the scheme and to apply.

You have to pay a £100 fee to apply. 

Co-ownership will check your application. They will give you an approval in principle if you are eligible for the scheme. You can then start looking for a home to buy. 

Valuation fees and mortgages

Most people will need to apply for a mortgage to help buy their share of the home. 

Co-Ownership's website has a list of lenders who can help

Check with each lender how much of a deposit you need. Not all lenders will ask for a deposit.

Co-Ownership will send a valuer to inspect the home you want to buy. You have to pay a fee of £475 for this valuation.

Paying rent

You have to pay rent on any part of the property that Co-ownership owns.  Every year you pay £25 in rent for every £1,000 of Co-ownership's share in your home. 

You pay rent every month. You may be able to get help from Universal Credit or Housing Benefit to pay the rent. 

You can't get benefits to pay your mortgage. But, you may be able to get a loan to cover your mortgage interest payments if you are claiming other benefits. You have to pay this loan back. 

Increasing your shares in the property

You can buy more of the property in later years. This is called staircasing. 

You can increase your share in blocks of 5%. Find out more about staircasing from Co-Ownership's website.

Buying a home with FairShare

FairShare is a shared ownership scheme used by certain housing associations. It can help you buy a new-build property.

You buy a part of the home and the housing association buys the rest. You pay rent to the housing association for their share of the property.

FairShare's website explains who can apply for the scheme. 

The website has a list of properties that you can buy using the scheme. You can also apply to buy another property as long as FairShare agrees. 

You can increase your shares in the property later on.

You don't pay any fees to FairShare. You will have to pay the usual home purchase fees, including

  • reservation fees to your builder
  • valuation fees to your mortgage lender
  • legal fees to your solicitor.