'Shared ownership' help for first-time buyers in Harrogate district

Shared ownership homes are being built in Harrogate district with the help of Harrogate Borough Council.
Shared ownership homes are being built in Harrogate district with the help of Harrogate Borough Council.

Harrogate Borough Council has 20 new houses in Knaresborough to offer to first time buyers as part of its shared ownership scheme which is to be extended to Harrogate and nearby villages, too.

The council’s cabinet approved plans in May to spend almost £1.7m on buying the houses on the Boroughbridge Road development, with the first properties expected to be completed in October.

The homes – a mixture of two- and three-bedroom houses - will be offered for sale to local first-time buyers, enabling them to take a first step on the property ladder by buying just a share of their home to start with - usually 50% - and paying rent on the rest. Buying 50% of a house is more affordable than buying 100% as it means a smaller deposit and lower monthly housing costs.

The owners are responsible for repairs and maintenance and over time they can buy more shares until they own the property outright.

Coun Mike Chambers, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities, said: “Shared ownership is a Government backed scheme which has been around for many years but only now are we starting to see shared ownership homes being built in our district in any number.

“Whilst supply is limited, the number is growing as planning permissions for new developments are granted and housebuilders start to build.

"Planning policy means that sites above a certain size will include both shared ownership and rented homes - homes that are much needed in the district.

“For many years we have ‘enabled’ the development of affordable housing through our planning policy and grants but now, for the first time in a long time, we are in a position to directly provide affordable homes to local people and workers.”

Four of the 20 shared ownership homes being built at Boroughbridge Road will be available from October.

As well as the houses in Knaresborough, other shared ownership houses are under construction at Claro Road, Cornwall Road and Skipton Road in Harrogate as well as Hampsthwaite and Killinghall.

In Asenby, building has finished on a brand new two-bedroom bungalow which is the very first council property to be offered on a shared ownership basis.

Anyone interested in registering an interest in shared ownership at any of these locations, e-mail affordablehousing@harrogate.gov.uk