Shared Ownership


What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is a government scheme that offers you the chance to buy a share of a property from a housing association, a non-profit-making body that provides homes. Because you only own a part of the property, you can buy it with a smaller deposit and mortgage.

A smaller mortgage means smaller repayments but you’ll also need to pay:

  • rent on the share of the property you do not yet own
  • monthly service charges

Shared Ownership homes can be new builds, existing properties, houses or flats. All Shared Ownership properties are leasehold, even houses.

Who can apply for Shared Ownership?

To be eligible for Shared Ownership you need to:

  • be a first-time buyer, an existing shared ownership homeowner, or a former homeowner who can’t afford to buy now
  • be over 18 years old
  • have an annual household income of less than £80,000 (£90,000 in London)

How does Shared Ownership work?

When you buy a Shared Ownership home, you decide what stake in the property you can afford to buy from the housing association. You put down a deposit of at least 5% of your stake and take out a mortgage to cover the rest. You then pay rent on the part you do not own.

You can increase the share you own in the property, through a process known as staircasing, until you own 100% of the property. On some rural sites the amount you can buy is capped at 80% to make sure that shared ownership will always be available in the area.

Another way this is done is called a ‘Buy Back lease’. This means if you buy 100% of the property the housing association will always buy the property back from you at the current market value. They will then resell the property at a lower share.

There’s a legal cost every time you staircase so it may make sense to buy bigger chunks. Your lease may limit on how many times you can do it.

Shared Ownership pros and cons

The pros

  • You could buy sooner because of the smaller deposit and mortgage
  • It’s more affordable for those on a lower income
  • You can increase your share in the property as and when you can afford it
  • It’s available on new-build homes and existing properties

The cons

  • Shared Ownership properties are leasehold, rather than freehold, so you will not own the land the property is on
  • You have to pay service charge that comes with the property regardless of how big your stake is
  • When you come to sell, you may have to do it through the Shared Ownership scheme rather than on the open market
  • Buying more of the property over time comes at a cost

Which homes are available for Shared Ownership?

All our shared ownership properties are sold through our ‘profit for purpose’ sales, private lettings and management agency TwoCan.

How to apply for Shared Ownership

If you would like to apply for Shared Ownership, please complete our online application form below.

Alternatively you can download our printable version and send this back to us in the post to: Shared Ownership Team, Two Rivers Housing, Rivers Meet, Cleeve Mill Lane, Newent, Gloucestershire, GL18 1DS.

For further information about the Shared Ownership opportunities at Two Rivers Housing, please contact our Home Ownership team by phone or by email.

Recommended service providers

Buying a home is a big commitment therefore it’s important that you seek specialist advice on the best option for you, based on your personal circumstances.

You will decide who you choose to employ on your behalf, however we have provided a list below of recommended service providers we have worked with on other purchases. We believe these service providers have consistently given helpful advice and quality service.

Independent financial advisors:

Brunswick Home Loans
Telephone: 01452 413300

Mortgage Brothers
Telephone: 07535 44018


Emma Twinning – WSP Solicitors
Telephone: 01453 847229

Helen Tuck – Beers LLP
Telephone: 01749 594000

Shared Direction Conveyancing (New Build)
Telephone: 0808 2730273

Owen Paulo Legal (Resales and Staircasing)
Telephone: 0808 1967010

Direction Law