North Ayrshire Council plans to build shared-equity housing block
A North Ayrshire Council new build development is set to make it easier for people to get on the housing ladder and also support homeowners who want to downsize from their current property.
Proposals for the Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME) project will be submitted for planning permission shortly to allow the 26-unit, shared-equity project on the former St Mary’s Primary School site in Largs to progress.
If approved and the proposals go according to schedule, construction could start around early 2022 and will take about one year to complete.
HOME will offer high-quality, new-build homes to the private housing market.
Under the initiative, the council and residents would share ownership of the house with two different models of ownership available:
- The ‘£5k HOME’ designed for first-time buyers. A £5,000 investment is paid up-front to access shared ownership of a new home. This would be aimed at those who have some savings but are currently unable to raise the full deposit required for a home that suits their needs in the private market.
- The ‘£40k HOME’ which is aimed primarily at older homeowners, where a £40,000 investment is paid up-front. This would be for those who currently own a home and are looking to downsize and/or secure a home with level access which better meets their needs.
Thereafter, HOME owners will pay the council a monthly occupancy fee. This will cover the cost of planned maintenance, capital improvements and estate management, and range from £355 to £598 per month, depending on the model and house specification.
Yvonne Baulk, head of service (physical environment), said: “We know the difficulties faced by many people accessing the housing market and being unable to afford new modern, energy-efficient homes.
“The HOME initiative will hopefully provide a solution to those who may be struggling to get on the housing market as well those residents who wish to downsize.
“This is the first time we have tried this approach, but we want to ensure all our residents have access to the types of homes which meet their needs.”
The HOME initiative has an eligibility criteria which may be reviewed in response to demand.
For a £5k home, applicants should live in the North Coast, or need to move to the area to give or receive care and support (including childcare), and have a maximum income of £45,000 if single applicant, or £65,000 if joint applicant.
For a £40k home, applicants should live in the North Coast, or need to move to the area to give or receive care and support (including childcare), be at least 60 years old, and have no more than £175,000 in housing equity and savings.
More information is available here.