Of the 600 homes which the council is delivering in the next five years, 20% will be for shared ownership. In the first such scheme run by City of York Council, 17 homes have already been sold and 40 more applicants are in the process of buying a share.
A retired York teacher who has bought a half share in city centre flat with the council, tells us how the scheme has worked for him by halving his monthly accommodation costs.
Malcolm Murphy taught generations of children over 35 years and was a teacher with City of York Council for 25 years. After taking early retirement, a breakdown in his relationship left him struggling through a difficult few years.
He rented a flat in Fulford which left him with very little spare every month, even though the 62 year old works at Waitrose to supplement his pension.
“Shared ownership means I can stay in the city I love, near my friends. Without it, I’ve have been a dead duck with no chance of owning a place.
“When I saw the shared ownership advert on facebook, I applied and got an answer in an hour,” he said.
The scheme is eligible to people with a household income of up to £80,000 and a 5% deposit – the full details are at www.york.gov.uk/sharedownership. After working out what mortgage is affordable and getting an offer in principle, apply through the Help to Buy website. Successful applicants can choose to buy a share of a suitable property from the open market or from City of York Council.
Earlier this year, the council was marketing four apartments on Cemetery Road for shared ownership. They caught Malcolm’s eye and he arranged a viewing.
“As soon as I saw it, I fell in love with this flat. It ticks every box. It’s small, but easy to look after, and it means I can stay near my friends while being closer to work and the city centre,” he said.
“The day they said I could have this place, I felt like I’d won the Lottery!”
Malcolm’s bought a 55% share which has significantly lowered his monthly outgoings. “I was paying £750 a month for my old two-bed flat, but now I’m paying £380 a month.
“I’d recommend the scheme because it means I can save, so that hopefully I can pay off my mortgage one day and leave something for my kids.” To find out more about the scheme, please visit www.york.gov.uk/sharedownership.