Co-Ownership Housing has secured £50 million private finance investment over the next three years. Barclay's Bank and Bank of Ireland have both announced a commitment to provide £25 million each to help people take the first step on the property ladder.
The provision of good quality, affordable housing is a key priority for the Executive. Through the Co-Ownership scheme, government and the private sector are working together to facilitiate a better future for those who want a stepped approach into home ownership.
Last year, along with my colleague Finance Minister Sammy Wilson, I was able to announce £100 million funding for Co-Ownership until 2014/15. Together with this private investment, some 2,500 homes will be able to be purchased, mainly by first-time buyers, over the next four-year period.
Co-Ownership Housing is a registered housing association and Northern Ireland's regional body for shared ownership, operating since 1978. The Co-Ownership scheme is a low cost route into home ownership aimed at people who could not otherwise afford to buy a home. Purchasers buy a share in their property of choice (from 50% up to 90% initially). Every case is assessed individually and all properties are subject to valuation before purchase.
I would encourage anyone who thinks that they might benefit from the scheme to consider availing of this new funding package. Co-Ownership offers a free, confidential informationm service and you can contact them on freephone 0800 333644 or www.co-ownership.org.