Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 13.50.13An innovative new scheme to help provide homes for local people looking to get on the housing ladder could be on its way to Richmondshire.

Members of the District Council’s Full Council will be asked later this month (April 19) to give their approval to the proposal – which has already won backing from the authority’s Corporate Board.

The Council’s ‘home ownership promotion’ policy will see the authority buy properties to market either on a shared or discounted ownership basis.  It will give people on lower incomes the chance to own their home for the first time.

Currently the majority of affordable housing is provided through section 106 planning agreements where developers provide a percentage of affordable homes on each new housing site – they are traditionally bought by housing associations for rent, discounted or shared ownerships. The price they pay is below market value depending on location, size and availability.

However, while that route will still be taken, under the Council’s proposed scheme it will also take on the role of a housing association by buying some of these properties and making them available to local people under shared or discounted ownership.

“This policy will make a sizeable contribution to one of our key aims to help our  residents own their own homes,” said Council Leader, Councillor Yvonne Peacock.

“It will put home ownership within reach of many lower income households and allow the Council to build up a portfolio of properties that can bring in additional income.”

Members of Corporate Board approved the policy this week (April 5) – including the set up cost of £448,000.  Full Council will be asked to ratify their decision when they meet on April 19.

Shared ownership is an option to part own / part rent a property – the resident would own part of it and rent the remainder from the Council.  Discounted ownership sees the home bought outright but at a price well below the market value  – but when it comes to be sold it has to be sold at the same discount.